Fourteen species are found only within the boundaries of Ecuador. Such is the case of the Black-breasted Puffleg, the offical bird of Quito, which is only found on Pichincha Volcano. Another 260 species are found only in Ecuador and its neighboring countries.
More than 100 sites of special importance of bird diversity have been identified in Ecuador. These sites are know as IBAs (important bird areas), and are part of an international program designed to protect sites of exceptional importance for bird conservation. In Ecuador this program is coordinated by Aves&Conservation, a parthner of BirdLife International. The main criteria for the identification of these sites are the presence of endangered and/or endemic species and the presence of migratory and gregarius bird species.
Ecuador's IBAs are found not only in national protected areas, but also in urban sites. More than 50 % of Ecuador's IBAs already have tourist facilities and are growing in infrastructure. Morever , Ecuador holds the world's top two endemic bird areas (EBAs).
No other country in the world has as many bird species in such a small land area. With a list of over 1653 species, Ecuador ranks fourth in the world in bird diversity. You don't need to be an expert to experience the exhilaration of encountering such a variety of birds. Their amazing assortment of colors and intriguing habitats are irresistible !!!.
Hummingbirds have an overpowering attraction to observers due to their iridescence and acrobatics. In the Andes, these birds are commonly know as "QUINDES" (from the indigenous Quichua world). More than 130 species live in Ecuador, including the stunning Sword-billed hummingbird and the Fiery Topaz. An outstanding example of diversity is seen at hummingbird feeders on the west slope near Mindo where up to 28 species have been seen in one day, a world record !!! The Amazon region also offers superb birding opportunities and excellent local guides.