TiME for Birding for Conservation - Join noted ecologists & conservations in the birding adventure of a lifetime in Ecuador - TiME · This is My Earth

Join noted ecologists & conservationists for the birding adventure of a lifetime in Ecuador

This 8-day field trip led by expert birders Jonathan Meyrav & Juan Carlos Figueroa will visit reserves in the Chocó Forest, Tapichalaca and Chakana, with many opportunities for birding in transit between reserves. The trip is organized by This Is My Earth (TiME), Flyways Birding & Nature and Jocotours to support biodiversity hotspot land acquisition for the Jocotoco Foundation to protect in perpetuity.

Download theTiME for Birding for Conservation

brochure with all the information here

  • An opportunity to see the Jocotoco Antpitta, Great Green Macaw, Banded Ground Cuckoo, Andean Condor and many endemic, threatened and vulnerable bird species
  • Join ecologists and conservationists, Robert Holt, Clive Jones, Uri Shanas and Jonathan Meyrav in discussions about birds, biodiversity, and conservation opportunities and challenges
  • Learn about the work and missions of TiME from CEO Uri Shanas and the Jocotoco Foundation from CEO Martin Schaefer
  • Visit a new biodiversity hotspot in the Chocó Forest recently acquired with the help of TiME, and a hotspot TiME is targeting to help acquire in Tapichalaca
  • See the spectacled bear – the real relative of famous Paddington Bear – and many endemic animal and plant species
  • Help protect critical habitat for birds and other species forever


February 21st, 2024 (arrive in Quito) – March 1st, 2024 (depart from Quito).


$3,420 Trip Cost* + $5,000 Donation.

The donationwill help TiME raise funds for acquiring a biodiversity hotspot in Tapichalaca for the Fundación Jocotoco to manage. A very limited number of spaces are available on this exclusive trip.

* Includes: All accommodation and transport in Ecuador including flights; all meals from dinner, day 1, including beer/wine with dinners; guiding and entry fees; tips for local guides, drivers and lodge staff.

Excludes: International flights; extra alcoholic beverages; personal items; tips to tour leaders. Important: Due to limited lodge space, nights at Chocó Lodge and Casa Simpson require sharing double rooms.

Single room supplement is available at Quito and Loja hotels for 395$.

Donation paid separately when Trip Cost is paid, and tax deductible to the extent allowed by US law. This is My Earth is a 501(c)3 non-profit charity registered in New York State, United States. IRS Tax Identification Number: 47-5499709.

For further information and booking visit the Flyways Birding & Nature Ecuador Trip Web Site

The Itinerary

DayDateBirding AreaAccommodationBird GuidesGround TransportMealsOther Guides & Flights
121-Feb-24Arrive QuitoHostelaria San José de Puembo, QuitoNONEAirport transferD
222-Feb-24Quito to Mirador Rio Blanco to Canandé ReserveChocó Lodge, Canandé ReserveJonathan Meyrav & Local ProfessionalVehicle & driverBLDForest Ranger
323-Feb-24Canandé ReserveChocó Lodge, Canandé ReserveJonathan Meyrav & Local ProfessionalVehicle & driverBLDForest Ranger
424-Feb-24Canandé ReserveChocó Lodge, Canandé ReserveJonathan Meyrav & Local ProfessionalVehicle & driverBLDForest Ranger
525-Feb-24Canandé Reserve to QuitoHostelaria San José de Puembo, QuitoJonathan Meyrav & Local ProfessionalVehicle & driverBLD
626-Feb-24Quito to Loja to Tapichalaca ReserveCasa Simpson, Tapichalaca ReserveJonathan Meyrav & Local ProfessionalVehicle & driverBLDFly Quito To LojaForest Ranger
727-Feb-24Tapichalaca areaCasa Simpson, Tapichalaca ReserveJonathan Meyrav & Local ProfessionalVehicle & driverBLDForest Ranger
828-Feb-24Tapichalaca area to LojaSonesta Hotel, LojaJonathan Meyrav & Local ProfessionalVehicle & driverBLD
929-Feb-24Loja to Quito to Chakana ReserveHostelaria San José de Puembo, QuitoJonathan Meyrav & Local ProfessionalVehicle & driverBLDFly Loja To Quito
1001-Mar-24Depart QuitoNONENONEAirport transferB

A day-by-day detailed itinerary that includes locations, birds and other species is available at the Flyways Birding & Nature Trip Web Site.

The Locations, Birds & Other Species

  • Reserve locations: We will be visiting 3 of the 15 Reserves managed by the Jocotoco Foundation and Mirador Rio Blanco. There will be numerous additional opportunities for birding, wildlife, plants and scenery in transit.
  • Mirador Rio Blanco: A frequent lunch spot for birders with bird feeders on our way to Canandé Reserve from Quito. The eBird February Species Observed List has ca. 112 species.
  • Canandé Reserve: Comprises 14,000 acres in the lowland tropical forest of the Chocó. Only 2-5% of original forest remains.

Birds include Great Green Macaw, Baudó Guan, Plumbeous Forest Falcon, Banded Ground-Cuckoo, Long-wattled Umbrellabird, Scarlet-breasted Dacnis, Yellow Green Bush-Tanager, Sapayoa, Black & White Hawk Eagle, Chocó Poorwill, and Great Jacamar. 37 of 62 species endemic to the Chocó ecoregion are found there, some endangered or vulnerable (The eBird February Species Observed List has ca. 280 species).

Reptiles & Amphibia include the Kiki, Horned Marsupial Frog, and glass frogs – all protected species. 71 species, 35 endemic, and 3 threatened worldwide are present.

Mammals include Jaguar, Puma, Ocelot and Margay, Peccary, Red Brocket Deer, and 3 monkey species – Mantled Howler, Brown-headed Spider, and White Fronted Capuchin.

Rare & Endangered Plants include Lily (Eucaris sp.), Geonoma palm, Anthurium andreanum, and a new species of Liparis Orchid.

Tapichalaca Reserve is the first Jocotoco reserve. Established to protect the Jocotoco Antpitta, it now contains >50% of the global population. The reserve has 8 trails, a Jocotoco Antpitta feeding station, and an extraordinary diversity of birds, mammals, birds, reptiles, amphibians, and plants.

Birds include globally threatened Jocotoco Antpitta, Bearded Guan, Coppery-chested Jacamar, White-breasted Parakeet, and Masked Mountain Tanager; near threatened Imperial Snipe, Gray-breasted Mountain-Toucan, Brown-billed Scythebill, Neblina Metatail, Orange-Banded Flycatcher, and Masked Saltator; along with Andean Potoo, Golden-plumed Parakeet, Chesnut-naped Antpitta, and White-capped Tanager.

There are over 300 bird species in the reserve and adjacent areas (eBird February Species Observed List has ca. 250 species).

Reptiles & Amphibia include the Tapichalaca Tree Frog found only in the reserve.

Mammals include Andean Tapir, Puma, Andean Paca, Little Red Brocket Deer, Andean Coati and Spectacled Bear (of Paddington Bear fame).

Plants include over 130 species of Ecuadorian endemics, 90% threatened; 100’s of orchid species, 30 local; the rediscovered liana Bomarea longipesen, Romerillos (Podocarpus spp.), and Sangre de Drago trees.

Chakana Reserve. Most known for the Andean Condor, the reserve is a sanctuary roosting site for up to 40 of Ecuador’s 150 known individuals, with 2 of only 6 known nesting sites in the country. A cattle herd is used to feed the condors. The reserve contains the Rock of the Condor, Antisanilla lava flow, and Páramo wetlands where migratory birds visit October to March.

Birds include Andean Condor, Peregrine Falcon, & Curiquingue (sacred bird of the Incans). eBird February Species Observed List has ca. 51 species

Mammals include Spectacled Bear, Mountain Tapir, Puma, and Andean Fox.

More detailed information is available at the Flyways Birding & Nature Trip Web Site.

Who’s Who on the Trip

Robert Holt - TiME for Birding for Conservation
Robert Holt – TiME for Birding for Conservation
  • Professor Robert D. Holt is Eminent Scholar & Arthur R. Marshall, Jr., Chair in Ecological Studies in the Department of Biology, University of Florida, Gainesville. He is widely known for his work in population and community ecology, their connections to evolutionary biology, and their application to conservation biology. The author of over 370 publications including 4 authored and edited books, his honors and awards include election as a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and Fellow of the Ecological Society of America. He is an elected Member of the US National Academy of Sciences, recipient of the Eminent Ecologist Award of the Ecological Society of America, and past President of the American Society of Naturalists. A keen naturalist, he has worked all over the world. He is an avid birder with a substantial life list!
  • Dr. Clive G. Jones is Emeritus Senior Scientist at the Cary Institute of Ecosystem Studies in Millbrook, New York. He is best known for his work on how species change the physical environment – Ecosystem Engineering – including how they create habitats and affect biodiversity. Recognized as the founder of this now large field of basic and applied research, he is the author of over 200 publications including 6 authored and edited books. An elected Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, his other awards and honors include a Guggenheim Fellowship, a Blaise Pascal International Research Chair and a Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences Visiting Professorship. He has served on numerous international advisory boards and panels and is a member of the Board of Directors of This Is My Earth. He is also a keen naturalist who has worked in many countries around the world.

Uri Shanas - TiME for Birding for Conservation
Uri Shanas – TiME for Birding for Conservation
  • Professor Uri Shanas, CEO, This Is My Earth (TiME), is in the Department of Biology and Environment at the University of Haifa-Oranim, Israel. The author of over 60 scientific publications, he has been a Visiting Professor at Massey University, New Zealand, and Portland State University, Oregon, USA. He co-founded the Israel Union for Environmental Defense; has served on the Israel Nature and Parks Authority; led the expert committee of Israel’s Green Movement Party. He has served on various national and international committees including the board of directors of the Society for the Protection of Nature in Israel, the Long Term Social and Ecological Research Network, and UNESCO’s Man and the Biosphere Programme. A passionate nature lover and conservationist, he founded TiME in 2016.
Dr. Martin Schaefer - TiME for Birding for Conservation
Dr. Martin Schaefer – TiME for Birding for Conservation
  • Dr. Martin Schaefer, CEO, Jocotoco. After a dual career in evolutionary ecology and conservation, Martin declined an endowed chair in academia to protect ecosystems. He is strongly focussed on scaling up protection to address global conservation priorities and challenges. Under his leadership, Jocotoco doubled the size of its reserves, grew staff by 160% to 110, and the size of land co-managed by 600%. To safeguard the long-term ecological viability, Martin expanded the model of strictly protected private reserves to regional conservation projects, including the ocean. Martin is an avid birder who started to work in Ecuador 21 years ago on the then critically endangered Pale-headed Brushfinch and El Oro Parakeet. 
Jonathan Meyrav - TiME for Birding for Conservation
Jonathan Meyrav – TiME for Birding for Conservation
  • Jonathan Meyrav Tour Leader & Founder, Flyways Birding & Nature. After freelance tour guiding around the world, Jonathan began working with Birdlife Israel in 2006 as a tour leader and field survey coordinator. He and colleagues developed a birding tourism program, establishing Israel as a birding and conservation hub for birders worldwide. He became director of Tourism and International Events for Birdlife Israel in 2010. He started the Eilat and the Hula Valley Bird Festivals, has organized international conferences, and founded Champions of the Flyway – an international bird-a-thon that raises funds and awareness against illegal killing of birds along flyways. Jonathan began birding at age 10, earned his banding license at age 14, and has been extensively involved in monitoring bird migration, surveys and research in Israel. He has seen over 3,000 bird species around the world and speaks English, French, Spanish, and Hebrew. Passionate about birding to raise awareness and support of conservation, he founded Flyways Birding & Nature in 2022.

The Organizations

  • This Is My Earth, TiME. Established in 2016, TiME is a non-profit NGO that uses web-based crowd-funding to raise money for acquiring biodiversity hotspots, transferring the funds to local partner communities and NGO’s to protect the land in perpetuity. Candidate sites are selected by an expert Scientific Advisory Committee based on their biodiversity, their importance in helping connect to or expand adjacent protected land, and the quality of the long-term management plan for protection. TiME is democratic – every person who becomes a member for the year by donating as little as $1 gets one vote for the candidate site of their choice irrespective of the amount they donate. 100% of crowd-funded donations go directly to land acquisition. At the end of the year, TiME allocates donations to sites based on the relative number of votes each site receives. Since 2017, TiME has helped protect 8 biodiversity hotspots in 5 countries across 3 continents totaling ca. 4,000 acres of critical habitat for many species of conservation concern. TiME has an education program in North America, Israel and Uganda that works with teachers and uses the TiME model and resources to help children learn about biodiversity and how to protect it. TiME is working to expand the international scope of its programs. Most of TiME’s activities are conducted by volunteers. TiME helped acquire land in the Chocó Forest in 2022, and land at Tapichalaca is a current candidate site. Both parcels will be managed by the Jocotoco Foundation.
  • Jocotoco Foundation. Fundación Jocotoco is an Ecuadorian conservation non-profit NGO founded in 1998 to protect the newly discovered Jocotoco Antpitta – a highly range-restricted bird species with fewer than 500 individuals. Since then, Jocotoco has established a network of 15 conservation reserves totaling over 33,000 ha. (81,500 acres) protecting some of the world’s most endangered species by conserving their remaining natural habitats. Jocotoco expanded its model to collaborate in managing national parks and to work on ecological restoration, most notably eradicating invasive species on Floreana, Galapagos, to re-introduce the Floreana Mockingbird.
  • Jocotours is a birding and nature ecotourism operator in Ecuador that helps support conservation projects of the Jocotoco Foundation. It organizes tours across 15 reserves that protect 1,070 bird species. Jocotours manages 5 lodges and one research station with accommodation, food and an extensive network of trails that offer peace, privacy and comfort in a natural and bio-diverse environment.
  • Flyways Birding & Nature is based in Israel but operates worldwide. It was founded by birders for birders who believe birds to be the perfect gateway to conservation. Tours are designed to highlight conservation and nature protection and are operated in collaboration with like-minded organizations. This is My Earth (TiME) is a partner.


Jonathan Meyrav 

Flyways Birding & Nature

PO Box 133 Shilat, Israel

[email protected]

+972 52-368-9774

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/jmeyrav/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/jmeyrav?lang=en

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/jm2bird/?hl=en

Print the flyer here

Mailing Address:

TiME, This Is My Earth, INC

POB 2722, 1175 Marlkress Rd, Cherry Hill, NJ 08034, USA

Ecuador Trip Email Contact:

[email protected] 

This is My Earth is an IRS-recognized Section 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization registered in New York State, United States. Tax Identification Number: 47-5499709.