04 Jul 2023

The XII South American Bird Fair with its headquarters in Mindo has been made possible thanks to the voluntary and “ad honorem” work of a professional team of people who are passionate about birds and committed to the conservation and sustainable development of tourism in Ecuador. We would like to introduce you to the team that has made this event possible.

XAVIER AMIGO Catalonian, born in France, has lived in Quito for 30 years. Naturalist guide and birder who became fond of birds in Ecuador. In 2004 he formed his own tourism company, specializing in natural and scientific tourism. Since then he began to explore the South American continent in search of new experiences. Since 2020 he has been a member of the international committee of the South American Bird Fair, representing Ecuador. He is the general manager of the National Organizing Committee of the South American Bird Fair, Mindo.




ROCÍO MERINO UTRERAS She has contributed to environmental conservation in Ecuador, with her experience in the creation of Private Reserves and rural empowerment projects. As a member of the National Organizing Committee of the Mindo 2023 South American Bird Fair, she has shared her knowledge in the area of ​​administration and management, collaborating effectively with public and private entities in order to make this event a milestone in the region.




FRANCISCO SORNOZARenowned Ecuadorian ornithologist and founder of the Jocotoco Foundation. His work in conservation includes the creation of 11 Reserves that protect the biodiversity of Ecuador. Author of specialized publications, in September 2018, Francisco discovered a new species of hummingbird, the Blue-throated Woodstar. He is part of the National Organizing Committee of the South American Bird Fair, coordinating the Bird Watching Outings to guarantee a quality experience. His contribution in ornithology is of great value to the event.




MÓNICA BURBANO MONTALVO Ecotourism specialist, with 20 years of experience in conservation projects, environmental education, sustainable production, consulting, public service, business management, events and universities. She worked for the Ministry of Tourism of Ecuador, promoting and developing nature tourism in the country. She was in charge of updating the National Avitourism Strategy of Ecuador 2010, the publication of several visitor’s guides to the country’s natural protected areas, birdwatching guides and birdwatching routes, also for primates and cultural sites. She has been part of the board of directors of an important sustainable tourism project in the region and has been in charge of an important publishing company. She’s is a volunteer for issues of dissemination and support management for this event, and is part of the Organizing Committee.


SANDY ESPINOZA FERNÁNDEZAdministrator of Tourism and Hotel Companies, focused on Bird Tourism for 5 years, involved in Citizen Science and Environmental Education activities, director of the Jardines Silvestres (wild gardens) project, coordinator of the Quito Bird Collective, member of the Organizing Committee of the Urban Christmas Bird Count Quito. She has participated as a speaker in various bird festivals and given talks on urban birds, urban gardens and climate change. She received the Quito 2019 Environmental Distinction for the care of Natural Heritage, especially Quito’s native birds and flora, Sustainable and Responsible Quito 2019 Recognition in the Initiatives category that promotes the Conservation of Urban Green Areas. She was also part of the Women for the Climate Quito 2018 with the Jardines Silvestres (Wild Gardens) Quito project as a tool that provides the mitigation of climate change and conservation of natural heritage; recognitions granted by the Municipality of the Metropolitan District of Quito. It provides its support for the organization of the Mini Children’s Fair, Management of Social Networks, Communication, and management of the Volunteer Program

JULIA PATIÑO Nature lover and bird guide with more than 20 years of experience. She lives in Mindo and her passion and love for birds are her main motivation for being part of the organization of the XII South American Bird Fair





BRENDA DURÁN Originally from the parish of Mindo, nature lover, she shares her knowledge as an Engineer in Tourism Business Administration, being responsible for registering registrations at the XII South American Bird Fair. Brenda will be the ‘go to’ person for all issues related to your participation in the different activities carried out during the Fair 




JUAN FREILE Ecuadorian ornithologist. Author of Birds of Ecuador (Helm Field Guides, 2018) and Birds of Ecuador and the Galapagos Islands (Helm Wildlife Guides, 2023) and dozens of publications on birds and biodiversity in Ecuador. Member of the organizing committee of the Ecuadorian ornithology meetings. Main editor of the magazine Cotinga and the Ecuadorian Magazine of Ornithology. Juan is part of the organizing committee of the South American Bird Fair, in charge of academics. 



IGNACIO DE LA TORRE  An Agronomist by profession, who has worked on reforestation projects with native plants in the Province of Manabí. Bird fanatic, currently residing in Mindo. President of the Ecuador Biodiversity Association, organization in charge together with the National Committee of organizing the Mindo 2023 South American Bird Fair.




DAVID BRITO From the Canary Islands, Spain. He visited Ecuador in 2006 for the first time on vacation. Resident in Ecuador since 2010, and since 2015 he has managed his hotel and tourism business in Mindo. He is co-in charge of everything related to the logistics of hotels and restaurants for the Bird Fair.





DAVID GAIBOR Born in Quito, Ecuador, 20 years living in Mindo. Hotelier, photographer and bird lover. Graduated from the Faculty of Tourism and Environmental Preservation from UTE University. Davis is the owner of Hostal Ananaw in Mindo, where he had the opportunity to carry out some field work on Flora and Fauna of the Chocó Andino Cloud Forest, and environmental preservation. Member of the National Committee of the South American Bird Fair, Ecuador and responsible for the area of Hotels, Restaurants and Dinners of the participants.


DIEGO PATIÑO Ecuadorian, born in Loja He has been living in Mindo for 43 years, where he has worked as a carpenter for more than 35 years. Between the years 1990 and 1995, he was a field assistant for a thesis on the Andean Cock-Of-The-Rock and for a documentary on the same species. From 2000 to 2014 he worked with the Jocotoco Foundation, on the construction of its different birding Lodges. There he learned, in his spare time, to love birds. Since 2002 until today he has been the route leader in the MINDO-TANDAYAPA Christmas Bird Count. He was co-organizer, for several years, of the local counts and also of the three birdfairs in Mindo. He is currently the national coordinator and head of the logistics commission of the South American Bird Fair. 

NATALIA ESCOBAR  She was born and raised in Mindo, in the middle of the exuberant cloud forest, and from there her love and passion for nature and conservation was born. She has been working as a naturalist and birdwatching guide for 12 years, which motivated her to be part of the local committee for the organization of the South American Bird Fair in Ecuador. She is co-in charge of managing bird watching outings.

04 Jul 2023

The Galapagos Islands, located in the Pacific Ocean, some 1,000 km off the coast of Ecuador, are famous for their unique and diverse fauna, among which several species of birds stand out. These species have adapted to the unique and isolated environment of the archipelago, giving rise to an impressive percentage of endemic and iconic species. These are some of the ornithological attractions that you can find in the Galapagos:

Galapagos Albatross: It is one of the largest seabirds in the world and is known for its impressive wingspan. The Galápagos are home to the world’s largest population of breeding Galápagos albatrosses, which are found on Española Island. Their courtship rituals and elaborate mating dances are a captivating sight

Blue-footed Booby: These distinctive bright blue-footed birds abound in the Galapagos. They are known for their unique courtship show, in which males dance to attract females. Several islands, such as North Seymour, Punta Suárez and Española, offer the opportunity to observe and photograph these fascinating birds. Nazca Booby: Another species of booby found in the Galapagos is the Nazca booby. They are identified by their white plumage and black wings, and are known for their large, impressive beaks. Genovesa Island is a popular place to view nesting colonies of Nazca boobies.

Nazca Booby: Another species of booby found in the Galapagos is the Nazca booby. They are identified by their white plumage and black wings, and are known for their large, impressive beaks. Genovesa Island is a popular place to view nesting colonies of Nazca boobies.

Red-footed Booby: The Red-footed Booby is the smallest of the three Galapagos booby species and can be identified by its red feet and brown plumage. They nest in trees and bushes, and their colonies are found on Genovesa Island and some other islands in the archipelago.

Flightless Cormorant: The flightless cormorant is a unique species that has evolved without the ability to fly. They have adapted to their environment by developing strong legs and webbed feet for swimming and diving. Fernandina and Isabela islands are the main habitats of this extraordinary bird.

Galapagos Penguin: The Galapagos penguin is the only species of penguin that lives north of the equator. It is the smallest penguin species and can be found on the western islands of Isabela and Fernandina, as well as Bartolome and Santiago islands. Diving or snorkeling with these playful birds is an unforgettable experience.

Darwin’s Finches: The Galapagos Islands are famous for their finches. These birds are actually part of the Thraupidae, the same family of tanagers. Each of its 17 species forms a closely related group that have adapted to various ecological niches and have evolved different bill shapes and sizes. Almost every island in the archipelago has its own species of finch.

Galapagos mockingbirds are other emblematic species of the archipelago. With their various songs and different adaptations, they inspired Charles Darwin’s theory of evolution. These intelligent birds offer fascinating insight into the interplay between the ecology of the islands and their extraordinary avian inhabitants. In total there are 5 species and several subspecies present throughout the enchanted archipelago. 

These are just a few examples of the ornithological attractions that you can find in the Galapagos, since the islands are home to more than 180 species of birds.

The Galapagos Islands have been declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO and enjoy a high degree of protection, ensuring the conservation of its unique biodiversity, including its varied bird life. Exploring the islands with a naturalist guide will allow you to find the vast majority of endemic birds, and to observe their behaviors and understand their importance in the ecosystem of the archipelago. You will also get to know in depth the extraordinary diversity of the Galapagos and its importance for the study of evolution.

The best way to visit the Galapagos Islands largely depends on your preferences, budget, and the type of experience you seek. Here are some popular options to consider:

Guided Cruise: Taking a guided cruise is a popular option for exploring the Galapagos Islands. Cruises offer the opportunity to visit several islands, which allows you to contemplate the diversity of the fauna and ecosystems. Cruise lengths vary from a few days to a couple of weeks. They usually include guided excursions, meals and accommodation on board. It is important to choose a cruise ship adapted to discover the delicate ecosystem of the Galapagos.

Shore Excursion: Opting for a shore excursion involves staying on one of the 4 inhabited islands, such as Santa Cruz, and taking day trips to nearby islands. This option offers more flexibility in terms of accommodation and activities. You can choose between several hotels, hostels or guest houses and organize daily excursions to different islands. It allows for a more immersive experience and the opportunity to interact with local communities. This option is also cheaper than the previous one.

Island hopping consists of staying on different islands throughout the visit and organizing transportation and accommodation. You can use inter-island flights or public ferries to travel from one island to another. This option offers more independence and flexibility in terms of the duration of your stay on each island and the activities you want to do. It requires more planning and coordination, but allows you to experience the unique features of each island at your own pace.

If you are a diving enthusiast or want to explore the marine life of the Galapagos, you can choose an excursion focused on diving or snorkeling. These tours often combine island visits with underwater exploration, allowing you to witness rich marine biodiversity, including sea turtles, sharks, colorful fish, and marine iguanas.

Regardless of which option you choose, it is important to plan your trip in advance, especially if visiting in high season, as the Galapagos Islands have restrictions on the number of visitors allowed. Furthermore, following responsible and sustainable tourism practices is crucial to help preserve the delicate ecosystems of the islands.

Take into account your preferences, interests and budget when choosing the best way to visit the Galapagos, and be sure to adhere to the guidelines and regulations established by the authorities of the Galapagos National Park.

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