Region (Compass)

Lat:00o00´S/00o00´W 100ha topography msl 
Protected/registered status 
Best Time for visit (29th July, 2006)


Birding Site Guide

This is a private reserve run by the Jocotoco Foundation set up to preserve the only location for the endangered endemic Pale-headed Brush-Finch. It is best to arrange your visit with them either in Quito of if you visit one of their other reserves. This reserve is a little more difficult to get to but not too bad. The nearest town is called La Union and is between the larger towns of Machala (2 hours) and Cuenca (1 hour) and lies near the main road between them. There is a play to stay in town called Sol y Agua, or you could stay in the larger town of Santa Isabel, just 10 minutes away. What I did was camp at the house of Enrique Calle, the guardaparque (park guard). To get here asked to be let off the bus at El Y (ye) de La Union. This is a junction next to a couple of restaurants that also has pickup trucks (camionetas) that you can pay to take you to his Enrique’s house (which they all know). The price for the 15 minute ride is $3 but sometimes they try and charge you more. In the morning, Enrique can take you up to the reserve to show you the brush-finches. We found it a little difficult to find them but Enrique said he’s never failed to show them to a group. There is a trail leading down which is good for them, but we saw them climbing up a steep trail once you get to the fence at the end. We scrambled up and along a trail where we saw a pair. They tend to keep hidden but can be persuaded to pop their heads up with a little bit of playback. The price to enter the reserve is $15 which tough a little pricey goes towards the conservation of the species and is the only way you will see it. I saw 21 species including 2 lifers 

Species seen 

  • Eared Dove Zenaida auriculata
  • White-tipped Dove Leptotila verreauxi
  • Smooth-billed Ani Crotophaga ani
  • Pauraque Nyctidromus albicollis
  • Purple-collared Woodstar Myrtis fanny
  • (Pacific Hornero) Furnarius leucopus Photographed
  • Azara's Spinetail Synallaxis azarae
  • Chestnut-crowned Antpitta Grallaria ruficapilla Heard only
  • Mouse-colored Tyrannulet Phaeomyias murina
  • Rufous-crowned Tody-Tyrant Poecilotriccus ruficeps
  • Dusky-capped Flycatcher Myiarchus tuberculifer Heard only
  • Blue-and-white Swallow Notiochelidon cyanoleuca
  • Chiguanco Thrush Turdus chiguanco
  • Rufous-browed Peppershrike Cyclarhis gujanensis
  • Slate-throated Redstart Myioborus miniatus
  • Russet-crowned Warbler Basileuterus coronatus
  • Orange-headed Tanager Thlypopsis sordida
  • Blue-gray Tanager Thraupis episcopus
  • Pale-headed Brush-Finch Atlapetes pallidiceps Endemic Crit endangered Photo'd Rec.
  • Rufous-collared Sparrow Zonotrichia capensis
  • Golden-bellied Grosbeak Pheucticus chrysogaster

Other Fauna 
A total of -- species of mammals. 

There are -- recorded species of amphibians and reptiles. 

Author Charles Hesse