The Ayampe Reserve
The Colibri Nature Trail lies within the Ayampe Reserve, which consists of 14 hectares of protected semi-humid forest along the Pacific Coast of Ecuador. Every year hundreds of visitors arrive to Ayampe to explore the Colibri Nature Trail.
Bird watching in this trail is special, not only because of its natural, serene beauty, but because Ayampe is home to the 2nd smallest bird in the world called the Estrellita Esmeraldeña Colibri or the Esmeraldas Woodstar Hummingbird in English. The Esmeraldas Woodstar Hummingbird is about the size of a bee and can be spotted throughout this route.
With hectares of protected area, the Ayampe Reserve is full of diverse plant life as well as a variety of bird and butterfly species. While the majority of bird watchers come to spot the Esmeraldas Woodstar Hummingbird, you can also spot other globally threatened bird species, such as the Grey-backed Hawk, Grey-cheeked Parakeet, Guayaquil Woodpecker, Little Woodstar, Slaty Becard, Ochraceous Attila, Henna-hooded Foliage-Gleaner and, if you are lucky, the Ghost Bat.
Observe the world’s second smallest bird
The Ayampe Reserve is vital to the preservation of the endangered Esmeraldas Woodstar as it is the only known protected breeding site. Additionally, the hummingbird is unique to Ecuador as it has not been spotted in any other country in the world.
The best time of the year for bird watching in the Ayampe Reserve is between December and March, during the mating season of the Esmeraldas Woodstar. To spot the Esmeraldas Woodstar Hummingbird, La Casa long-term hostel recommends finding its food source: the Muntingia Calabura tree, which is a small cherry tree with white flowers.
For more information on the Ayampe Reserve, its bird species, and preservation efforts, please visit Jocotoco Foundation. The Jocotoco Foundation, the community of Ayampe, and La Casa long-term hostel encourage visitors and bird watchers alike to the practice the “Leave No Trace Policy”, but…
If you take anything, take photos.
If you leave anything, leave footprints.
Together we can preserve our planet for generations to enjoy.