They are coloured, songful jewels, hidden between the leaves of the trees and between the cloud-covered skies. Discreet to those who observe them from below, they parade themselves showing off their feathers and competing for the best song.
In the Chocó there are many species of birds, and in the Mashpi zone there are more than 400 occupying the various habitats and stratums, from the cold mosses of the mountain to the warm streams of the rivers. What is more, there is a high level of endemism in birds, species that are only found here and in no other part of the world. In the lodge 35 of these endemic species have already been registered, and there are certainly many more hidden among the canopy, waiting to be discovered.
You don’t need to be an experienced ornithologist, or to even travel to the deepest part of the forest, to see and enjoy the mystic beauty of birds, although sometimes this effort pays off with the spectacular dances of rare species.
There are many ways to see birds in Mashpi, depending on your interest. They can be observed from the comfort of the lodge, with freshly-made coffee and cookies. From the terrace of the hotel, early in the morning, you can see the coloured tanagers and euphonias hopping among the scandalous whistles, toucans like the endemic Chocó toucan (Ramphastos brevis), carpenter birds, trogons hunting for moths, and even the extremely rare umbrella bird (Cephalopterus penduliger). For those who want to walk at the crack of dawn, the Life Centre offers an incredible view of the hillside carpeted with forest, where birds can be seen moving among the branches and even coming close to the feeders. Among the great quantity of birds that can be seen here, with a spot of luck you might observe cotingas, species most sought by birdwatchers due to their singular beauty and rarity.
And for the more adventurous, happy to get out of a comfortable bed while it’s still dark and travel through the forest in a rough crossing, the love dance of the cock of the rock (Rupicola peruviana) rewards them with intense leaps of red among a deep green.