X is for Xmas Bird Count

The annual XMAS BIRD COUNT is a tradition worldwide, and on the world stage, Ecuador annually ranks among the top international contenders, with the big count totals coming from Mindo, 25 miles from Quito. The town of Mindo (in Pichincha province) has a well-organized birding community, and has long held the South American record (well over 400 species) each year. Last year, the neighboring town of Yanayacu (a five-hour walk over the Andes from Mindo) took home the count honors with 502 bird species.

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