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Llegamos!

April 7, 2018

Hola a todos, we (Bárbara and Dan) are the new managers of Reserva Las Tangaras! We have been here only a short while, but it didn’t take long for us to figure out that we are living in a special place. Twice daily, there is an Andean cock-of-the-rock lek, hummingbirds swarm the lodge’s front porch all day long, and the forest is blanketed in misty white clouds. We still feel struck with the question “Are we really here right now?”. Much of the natural beauty on the reserve is owed in large part to its isolation from civilization. The reserve is pretty far off the beaten path, and to get there, one must hike 2km (45 mins) from the road along the Entrada Trail. It’s totally worth it though! The Entrada Trail is very different from the trails on the reserve, and it will lead you through several different habitat types and elevation zones. As you walk past the secondary forest and agricultural lands (don’t worry you’ll find that primary forest once on the reserve!), you have the chance to see how each of these different landscapes harbor different communities of organisms specialized for that habitat. Or alternatively, if you are new to Ecuador like us, everything will look new and different regardless of the habitat, but you don’t need to understand it to enjoy it!

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Besides the mind-boggling diversity of flora and fauna at the Reserve, we have also been encountering and learning lots from our maintenance and upkeep of the reserve. For instance working on some minor suspension bridge improvements, cleaning our water tank system, and keeping food without a refrigerator have all proved to be challenging and educational, but in the end successful too! One of the most enjoyable upkeep tasks we have as reserve stewards is maintaining the trails. It is not only important for visiting guests, but also means that we are constantly encountering new wildlife, enjoying beautiful vistas, and learning the ecology of this beautiful mountainous region.

Finally, it’s hard to write about Las Tangaras without writing a little bit about the hummingbirds. Regardless of if we are beginning our day or ending it, we are never too tired to watch the hummingbirds zoom around. We have been consistently seeing about 12 species of hummingbirds a day at the reserve! And each day we notice new individuals or new behaviors that keep us on the edge of our seats.

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Getting ready for the hummingbirds with a coffee and snack!

Until next time!

Bárbara & Dan

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