Welcome to one of the greatest hummingbird shows on Earth! Bring your camera and stay all day. We'll feed you while you get the photos of a lifetime.
This reserve is located near Piñas and Zaruma in El Oro province. The area is renowned for being one of the ornithologically richest and most easily accessible sites in the Ecuadorian Andes. It protects a narrow zone of cloud forest habitat on the otherwise seasonally dry west slope of the Andes in Southern Ecuador.
The reserve is the type locality of the El Oro Parakeet and the El Oro Tapaculo and is also home for species like the Club-winged Manakin.
None of this important habitat was protected until July 1999, when Fundación Jocotoco purchased 740 acres of forested land and pasture. Additional contiguous properties are soon to be purchased and protected, pending funding. The Fundación will work with local organisations, including the Piñas township, to reforest the cleared areas. The target size for this reserve is 12,000 acres.
Since its inauguration in 1999, the reserve has been progressively enlarged, and by the end of 2005 extended to about 3700 acres, with an altitude range from 492 to 1202 yards. Construction of a residential, research and visitor facility was started in 2004, and by early 2006 this comprised four bedrooms for visitors, each with a bathroom. It has been named “Umbrellabird Lodge”, because a lek of the globally threatened Long-wattled Umbrellabird is only a few minutes walk away.
The abandoned old road from Piñas to Machala goes through the middle of the reserve. During 2005 this was repaired and now can be used as a six kilometre long ecological trail by visitors, beginning near the shrine and descending back to the lodge.
Bunches of bananas are being provided as food for birds and mammals, near to the lodge. This has resulted in regular visits by Aracaris, Toucans, Coatis and the occasional Morpho butterfly.
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