Quito, World Capital of Birdwatching
Home to avian species of all colors and sizes, Quito is one of the most diverse cities on the planet when it comes to birds. The variety of its urban ecosystem allows you to appreciate everything from soaring condors to tiny colorful hummingbirds.
Birdwatching has been a popular visitor pastime in Quito for more than 30 years, making the Ecuadorian capital South America’s gateway for "bird seekers." With more than 1,660 avian species, Ecuador boasts the highest density of bird types in the world. The forests, mountains, moors and other natural ecosystems that are present in Quito invite visitors to discover the magic of birds in an environment of exuberant nature.
Quito is home to more than 542 species, including 64 that are endemic to the region, including the black-breasted puffleg (Eriocnemis nigrivestis), the brown wood-rail (Aramides wolfi) and the banded ground-cuckoo (Neomorphus radiolosus). The emblematic Andean condor (Vultur gryphus) is a stand-out. With a wingspan of up to 3 meters (10 feet) and median weight of 12 kilograms (26.5 lbs.), it is the largest flying bird in the world and can be seen gliding in rural areas of Quito such as the Antisana. Another species present in this area is the Andean cock-of-the-rock (Rupicola peruvianus), a bird noted for its unique courtship dance.
The northwest of Quito is the perfect micro-destination for birdwatching. Located within the Chocó Andino biosphere reserve, declared protected by UNESCO in 2018, it allows you to admire hummingbirds, parrots, toucans and quetzals. To the southeast of Quito are the Cayambe-Coca and Antisana National Parks, essential places for those seeking ecotourism and adventure tourism destinations where ideal trekking routes can be mapped out for the purpose of birdwatching. For urban birdwatching, the city’s botanical garden, which features a great variety of migratory species, stands out, as does Guangüiltagua Metropolitan Park, home of the crimson-mantled woodpecker (Colaptes rivolii brevirostris).
Quito Tourism is participating in this year’s Global Bird Fair to promote the richness and biodiversity that the “Capital of the Center of the World” offers birdwatchers, or birders. Taking place at the Rutland Showground in Oakham, United Kingdom, the event affords Quito the opportunity to present its birdwatching offer, which has made it one of the most important destinations in the world in the development of this activity, in a global forum.