Birding in the Ecuadorian Andes–Artisana Ecological Reserve

(October 11.)
The Artisana Ecological Reserve extends high above the treeline, almost 19,000 feet at its highest point. (I think we only got to about 12,000 feet.) This presents a different kind of challenge for bird photography.
I had dreams of getting a good photo of an Andean Condor, the worlds largest flying bird, but the only ones we saw were too far away for any lens I could reasonably be expected to carry.

Let’s zoom in closer on these cliffs.
Cliffs Zoomed in
Hmmm…what’s that near the top? Maybe if I severely crop the image…
Andean Condor
Yup, that’s an Andea Condor all right. (At least according to our guide.) Sorry, but that’s the best I could do.
Continue reading

Birding in the Ecuadorian Andes–Yanachocha

(Otcober 8.)
The reason that Ecuador has so many types of birds (some other countries have more species, but none come close to the number of species per square mile) is that the mountains give it a wide variety of microclimates. The Yanachocha trail has an altitude more than 10,000 feet and features temperate forests, a very different environment from Quito.

Continue reading