Ecuador the place for birding is the Galapagos Islands. Here, 600
miles from the continent of South America, birds have evolved in
complete isolation. The number of endemic (native) species of birds
and animals is high considering the relatively small size of the
islands, and some islands hold different species than others. This
is where Charles Darwin formulated his theory of evolution by studying
13 species of finches. Flamingos, penguins and pelicans are among
the aboriginal birds. It is truly a place like no other.
On the mainland, Maquipucuna Reserve
in northwest Ecuador is also a birdwatcher's paradise. There are
more than 325 speicies of birds, including the Golden-headed Quetzal,
Crimson-rumped Toucanets, Broad-billed Marmot and an active "Cock
of the Rock" lek.