Birder's Guide

MAR 2014

Birder's Guide is the American Birding Association's newest publication. Each issue focuses on a key subject, providing tips from experienced birders on a wide variety of topics like Travel, Listing & Taxonomy, Gear, and Conservation & Community.

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Page 22 of 91

21 March 2014 | Birder's Guide to Travel family, making any sighting within Ec- uador's cloudforests very special. 8 • Jocotoco Antpitta (Grallaria ridgelyi) Antpittas get world listers very excited. They are furtive species that are far eas- ier to hear than see. With the exception of the "easy" Tawny Antpitta, seeing any of this group in Ecuador feels special. But the Jocotoco Antpitta has a par- ticularly interesting history. It was only discovered in 1997, and was a truly remarkable fnd because, unlike many more cryptic species which have been discovered in recent times, it is a large and distinctive bird. Thus, when Robert Ridgely and his colleagues saw the bird for the very frst time on 20 November 1997, there was absolutely no doubt they were looking at a completely new species. The species' discovery led to a scramble to buy the land and save it from extinction, and, ultimately, to the formation of the Jocotoco Conservation Foundation. The foundation has since not only purchased the land where this discovery was made, but also bought land at eight other reserves, saving many imminently threatened species in the process. Ironically, this species, one of Ecuador's rarest birds, is now remarkably easy to see by virtue of a feeding station and the habituation of a particularly cooperative pair. 9 • Banded Ground-Cuckoo (Neomorphus radiolosus) Few species boast near-mythical sta- tus, but this one certainly can. Indeed, Photo © Dusan M. Brinkhuizen Photo © Nick Athanas Photo © Andrew Spencer Photo © Pablo Cervantes 5-Ecuador.indd 21 3/4/14 1:02 PM

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