The Amazon Rainforest is a birder’s paradise and the most species of animals and plants have been found in Ecuador and Peru’s western section of Amazonia. Ecuador’s Amazon then sets the world record for species diversity of animals. This makes birdwatching in Ecuador’s Amazon Rainforest one of the best birdwatching sites worldwide. Enjoy tanagers, parrots, toucans, parakeets, woodpeckers, hoatzins and countless others.
To make the most of the experience, we recommend hiring a specific birding guide who are offered by different Amazon Rainforest lodges and will help search for a variety of Amazon Rainforest birds to add to your birding list. In this article of Amazon lodges, specific birding guides are offered by the Napo Wildlife Center, Sani Lodge and La Selva Lodge in Ecuador’s Amazon Rainforest. Search the rainforest for a variety of species, such as antbirds, toucans, macaws, woodcreepers, tinamous, black-necked red cotingas and screaming pihas.
Not only taking guided walks through the bird filled rainforest with your guide, you can also visit different canopy towers or canopy walkways to get up to where all the action is. One of our favorite platforms is the incredible Sacha Lodge canopy walkway simply due to its incredible length of 940 feet (275 meters) running between the forest 94 feet (30 meters) above ground.
Not only seeing fascinating birds, this is a great place to enjoy other wildlife including the occasional troop of monkeys. Great birds to spot from canopy towers in Ecuador’s Amazon include oropendolas, tanagers, euphonias, aracaris, cotingas, flycatchers, purpletufts, parrots and macaws as they search for fruits and seeds.
Fantastic canopy towers are then offered at Napo Wildlife Center, Sacha Lodge (in addition to their walkway), La Selva Lodge and Sani Lodge. We will summarize these highly rated Amazon lodges below.
Napo Wildlife Center
Napo Wildlife Center is a highly recommended Amazon Rainforest lodge accessed from Coca for Yasuni National Park. Enjoy the parrot clay licks, the 130 foot high canopy tower, and guided tours to see fascinating bird species either from the regular guide service or enjoy the birding guide to maximize your birdwatching opportunities.
As well as the canopy and rainforest species, at Napo Wildlife Center you can enjoy canoeing Anangu Lake to find silver and plumbeous antbirds, herons, point-tailed palmcreepers, orange-crested manakins and river birds like yellow-billed terns, capped herons and the collared plover.
Offering the fantastic canopy walkway as mentioned above, Sacha Lodge offers tours to the Yasuni parrot clay lick and guiding services to find Amazon Rainforest animals and many different birds. You can also choose the special Sacha Lodge Birding Program to find many different birds around the lodge.
Records show 587 species have been seen around Sacha Lodge, which represents 37% of all Ecuador’s bird species. In addition to the canopy walkway, the lodge also has a 135 foot (43 meter) observation tower where a visiting ornithologist once recorded 80 species in one morning. Oscar Tapuy, the local bird expert at Sacha Lodge, estimates he sees around 60 species per day on average and hears a great many more.
La Selva Lodge
La Selva offers a luxurious experience of the Yasuni National Park where you can choose their birdwatching guide to find many different Amazon Rainforest birds. You will then return to the very comfortable La Selva Lodge to relax before your next day of birding. La Selva also features a fantastic 120 foot high (37 meter) observation tower for seeing a variety of different species.
Birding at La Selva Lodge is a great experience. This is where the long-tailed potoo was first seen and where the ochre striped ant-pitta and the cocha antshrike were first described. The rainforest of La Selva is also regarded as the world capital for the spectacular zig-zag heron.
Sani Lodge is a community owned lodge in the Ecuadorian Amazon Rainforest where you can enjoy guided tours with the Sani Lodge birding guide to find many different species. Sani Lodge also offers a 108 foot (36 meter) observation tower to see various different birds and other animals.
As an example of species, on a regular Amazon tour at Sani Lodge average guests see around 120 species and avid birders often see around 250 species on a 5 day tour. Over these days, you can therefore see around half of the total 550 birds living in the area.
At Sani you will be exploring the corridor between Yasuni National Park and the Cuyabeno Reserve which acts as a way for species to get from one area to the other.
Birding in the Amazon Rainforest of Ecuador is an excellent experience as in between excellent birding opportunities you will see an amazing amount of other wildlife. Between scouting for interesting birds, you will see several different monkeys including capuchins, squirrel monkeys, and howler monkeys, plus interesting reptiles and amphibians, and large colorful butterflies.