Photo: Tambako the Jaguar
Birding may not be on the mainstream travelers to-do list, but it’s serious business nonetheless, and Brazil is a bombshell for birdwatching. South America has the largest number of bird species of any continent and Brazil is among the top three countries in the world with over 1832 cataloged species and soaring higher. And while Hollywood might have poked fun at the birdwatching lifestyle in Jack Black, Owen Wilson and Steve Martin’s The Big Year (2011), there are a lot of people who get very excited about our fine-feathered friends.
Photo: Natalie Southwick
Organizations across the world are finally getting savvy to the fact that Colombia has one of Earth’s highest rates of biodiversity – and is a global leader when it comes to our feathery friends. More than 1,800 bird species make their home in Colombia, making it the world’s #1 country in terms of avian biodiversity. As Colombia has continued to open to tourists, serious birders are flocking to the countryside to hunt down elusive Andean antpittas, tropical parrots and Caribbean flamingos.
Photo: Peter Meier
For many, birding is a numbers game. All serious birders keep a list, referred to as the Life List, which is the complete list of bird species seen (and documented) during a lifetime. Realistically, how many birds can you see before you die? Assuming you never left your own country, Ecuadorians could probably see twice as many as U.S. citizens.