ECUADOR 2019 -  DAY 2

YANACOCHA RESERVE

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The Janachoco Reserve is a protected area of approxiately two square miles in the Pichincha Province outside of Quito.  The reserve is at an elevation of 11,000 feet (3500 meters).  

There are two viewing areas with bird and hummingbird feeders.  Both areas attract different birds, as there is a difference of about 1300 feet (400 meters) between the two viewing areas.  

This reserve is part of the Fundación Jocotoco Ecuador, which is committed to protecting Ecuador's most threatened birds and the biodiversity which exists within them.

One of the hummingbirds protected at Yanacocha is the Black-bellied Puffleg, which is one of the most critically endangered hummingbirds and is on the IUCN Red list.  Less than 300 of these birds are thought to exist. 

Buff-winged Starfrontlet

One of my target birds this trip was the elusive Black-bellied Puffleg.  After observing the hummingbirds at the first set of feeders, we set out to climb the trail to the Puffleg's territory.  This bird likes a certain purple salvia which is blooming along the trail.

It was a moderate hike up the trail and by the time our group got to the flowers, we didn't have much of our allotted time at the reserve left to wait for the Puffleg to show up.  We didn't even get to the second set of feeders to see the other species of birds.  I will come back to this area and next time I plan to spend whatever time it takes to photograph the Puffleg, even if I have to stay here for a few days. Stick with me:  I WILL photograph this guy eventually!

Shining Sunbeam

Our next stop was for lunch at the Guaycapa Restaurant.  This restaurant had a lovely deck overlooking several hummingbird feeders that fed the usual suspects of Booted Racket-tails, Andean Emeralds, Crowned Woodnymphs, Many-spotted Hummingbirds and Fawn-breasted Brilliants .  A White-whiskered Hermit also made an appearance, but I was not quick enough with my camera to capture him.  After lunch we made our way to the Sachatamia Lodge, where we would spend the next three nights.

Andean Emerald
Crowned Woodnymph
Many Spotted

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