Buenaventura Umbrellabird Lodge – Ecuador


The Buenaventura Reserve is located in the El Oro province of southern Ecuador. This region in the Ecuadorian Andes is known for its diversity of bird species, perfect for nature photographers looking for a great shot. The land can have sporadic rainfall, but the surrounding area is typically dry year-round. The reserve was founded in 1999 by the conservation group, Jocotoco Foundation in order to protect the habitat of the native El Oro Parakeet, El Oro Tapaculo, and other species found on the grounds. With help from American Bird Conservancy, the reserve conserves 330 species of birds on 6,546 acres.

The reserve is home to Jardin’ de Los Colibries, commonly known as the Hummingbird Garden. Nature photographers travel from all parts of the world to this small area to catch the Violet-bellied Hummingbirds, Brown Incas, and Emerald-bellied Woodnymphs, just some of the many species in the area. Another spectacular sight is the native El Oro Parakeet. Buenaventura Reserve protects this bird’s nesting boxes in order to promote the conservation of the species. This bird is listed as endangered because of deforestation and its habitat being repurposed for cattle ranching.

When traveling through the lush trails you may have the urge to walk through quickly to soak in as much as you can, but the true treasures are in the trees. Along with the birds, howler monkeys call these trees home. They may be hard to see, but a glimpse is worth it for nature photographers looking for some variety. The Umbrellabird Lodge is a small accommodation, within the reserve, named after the threatened Long-wattled Umbrellabird.

Owen traveled to Buenaventura Reserve in April 2014.

Birds found here