You are here: Bommuscaro Enterance to Podocarpus NP Bommuscaro Enterance to Podocarpus NP

Bombuscaro entrance is located very close to Zamora City, and a mere 10 minutes drive can take you from downtown to the pristine foothill forest protected in this area. Bombuscaro is located at an elevation ranging from 900 to 1050 meters.  This site has probably the most accessible and easy walking foothill forest in Ecuador.  The 100 hectare Copalinga Private Reserve is located close to the Bombuscaro entrance of Podocarpus NP.  Most of the birds encountered around the Cabanas Copalinga can also be seen in the park.

Foothill Forest.

Bombuscaro entrance to Podocarpus NP

No special arrangements are needed to visit the park.  The best place to stay in is the nearby city of Zamora.  Of the many hotels in the city the Cabañas Copalinga deserves special mention.  Further information regarding Cabañas Copalinga can be obtained at, or by writing to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or calling the cellphone: 093477 013.

Copalinga has an 8 km trail system passing through their major habitats.  Along the trails there are strategically located covered benches. The trails are open to Copalinga guests, but due to their narrow with it is recommended that only 2 to 3 persons occupy them at once.There is no public transportation from Zamora to the entrance of the park.  Zamora is so close to Bombuscaro that you can readily hire a taxi to get to the entrance, and arrange to be picked up at a later time.  The site can be visited year round with any kind of transportation.  The entrance fee is US $10 per person per day for foreigners, and US $2 person per day for Ecuadorian residents; the entrance fee is valid for 5 days. The trails are wide, well maintained and easy to walk. No boots are needed



Bombuscaro entrance to Podocarpus NP

If you are continuing from your visit to Loja Zamora Road please see the birding instructions in that subchapter on how to get there.

(Click here to download Map. Bombuscaro entrance PN Podocarpus)

Starting in Zamora city at the roundabout in front of the bus terminal, 0.0 km, take the road opposite to the bus terminal signed “Parque Podocarpus” and drive for less than 0.1 km.  At this point you will find a fork. Avoid the left road signed to “Bombuscaro” as is goes to a neighborhood named “Bombuscaro”, and not to the park entrance.

Take the right hand turn signed to “Podocarpus” and continue for 3.2 km.  At this point you will see the Cabanas Copalinga drive way on the right. At dusk and early night walk to back toward Zamora for some 200 meters.  Along this section of road you could find Blackish Nightjar.  The forest near the cabins also has a pair of Band-bellied Owl.

The biggest attractions at Copalinga Lodge are the hummingbird and fruit feeders, as well as the flowering and fruiting trees and bushes around the dining room and parking area.

The banana feeders in front of the dining room will give you the opportunity to have close up views of: Speckled Chachalaca, Yellow-tufted Woodpecker, Green-and-gold Tanager, Golden-eared Tanager, Turquoise Tanager, Golden Tanager, Blue-gray Tanager, Palm Tanager, Silver-beaked Tanager, White-lined Tanager, Buff-throated Saltator, Grayish Saltator and Orange-billed Sparrow.

The hummingbird feeders also in front of the dining room are visited by: Violet-fronted Brilliant, Black-throated Brilliant, Glittering-throated Emerald, Fork-tailed Woodnymph and sometimes Black-eared Fairy. The Inga trees and the Stachytarpheta bushes are your best chances to see Violet-headed Hummingbird, Spangled Coquette, Wire-crested Thorntail and White-bellied Woodstar.

The second-growth near the dining room has visits of many species worth mentioning; Speckled Chachalaca, Plumbeous Pigeon, Gray-fronted Dove, White-breasted Parakeet, Lineated Woodpecker, Lafresnaye's Piculet, Little Woodpecker, Wedge-billed Woodcreeper, Olivaceous Woodcreeper, Ash-browed Spinetail, Equatorial Graytail, Lined Antshrike, Ecuadorian Tyrannulet, Yellow-crowned Tyrannulet, Golden-faced Tyrannulet, Olive-striped Flycatcher, Yellow-olive Flatbill, Golden-winged Tody-Flycatcher, Short-crested Flycatcher, Yellow-cheeked Becard, Black-and-white Becard, Masked Tityra, Olivaceous Greenlet, Chestnut-vented  Conebill, Swallow Tanager, Paradise Tanager, Yellow-bellied Tanager, Spotted Tanager, Blue-necked Tanager, Masked Tanager, Bay-headed Tanager, Fawn-breasted Tanager, Guira Tanager, Yellow-throated Bush-Tanager, Subtropical Cacique, Crested Oropendola, Russet-backed Oropendola, Olivaceous Siskin, Orange-bellied Euphonia and Thick-billed Euphonia.

The open areas around the lodge are home of a group of commoner species including:  Mottle-backed Elaenia, Common Tody-flycatcher, Olive-chested Flycatcher, Long-tailed Tyrant, Piratic Flycatcher, Social Flycatcher, White-banded Swallow, Chestnut-bellied Seedeater, Lesser Seed-finch and Yellow-browed Sparrow.

The fruiting trees near the lodge, during the months of Sep-Oct., attract not only many of the previously mentioned species but also: Fiery-throated Fruiteater, White-crowned Manakin, Blue-rumped Manakin, Western Striped Manakin and Green Manakin.

Along the ridges that you can see from the lodge are places you should be looking for the Military Macaw, during the month of August.  There are also a few sporadic records of the macaw from late July, and early September.

From Copalinga driveway, you can continue for another 2.3 km, or 5.5 km from Zamora.  At this point you will get to Bombuscaro entrance parking area.  The road from Copalinga to the park has most of the species that can be seen within the Copalinga gardens and grounds.  The river down the slope should be searched for Fasciated Tiger-Heron. At times the Spot-winged Parrotlet can be seen flying up the valley.  Before you start walking the forest trail make sure you check the second-growth for Blackish Antbird.

Most of the birds along this wonderful trail are confined to forest. Look here for: Green Hermit, Gray-chinned Hermit, Green-fronted Lancebill, Ecuadorian Piedtail, Amethyst Woodstar, Collared Trogon, Coppery-chested Jacamar, Black-streaked Puffbird, Lanceolated Monklet, Red-headed Barbet, Ash-browed Spinetail, Spotted Barbtail, Black-billed Treehunter, Foothill Antwren, Yellow-breasted Antwren, White-backed Fire-eye, Northern White-crowned Tapaculo, Orange-crested Flycatcher, Lemon-browed Flycatcher, White-breasted Wood-Wren, Orange-eared Tanager, Flame-crested Tanager, Ashy-throated Bush-Tanager and Bronze-green Euphonia.

Half the way between the parking area and the park head quarters, or some 600 meters from the parking lot, there is a short bare cliff where White-breasted Parakeets frequently turn up for the minerals in the soil.  Make sure you walk slowly and quietly, as this clay lick might be your best chance to find the parakeet.  After the parakeet spot, keep an eye out for Highland Motmot, Amazonian Umbrellabird and Andean Cock-of-the-rock.

The headquarters are some 1.2 km away from the parking area.  The forest surrounding the ranger station is a good place to look for: Equatorial Graytail, Foothill Elaenia, Chestnut-bellied Thrush, Gray-mantled Wren and Golden-eared Tanager.

The area close to the “Orchid Garden” is a good place to look for: Western Striped Manakin, Blue-rumped Manakin, the graytails have nested here as well.

Continue along the main trail, called “Sendero Higuerones”, and look for the difficult to see (easy to hear) Short-tailed Antthrush and Plain-backed Antpitta.  Where the trail crosses over streams try for Olive Finch.


Birds to look for

Bombuscaro entrance to Podocarpus NP and Copalinga

Second-growth (2G), Rivers (R), Forest (F).

Common: Speckled Chachalaca (2G), Plumbeous Pigeon (2G,F), Green Hermit (2G,F), Gray-chinned Hermit (2G,F), Violet-fronted Brilliant (2G,F), Glittering-throated Emerald (2G), Fork-tailed Woodnymph (2G,F), Lafresnaye’s Piculet (2G,F), Yellow-tufted Woodpecker (2G), Lineated Woodpecker (2G,F), Wedge-billed Woodcreeper (2G,F), Olivaceous Woodcreeper (2G,F), Ash-browed Spinetail (2G,F), Lined Antshrike (2G), Ecuadorian Tyrannulet (2G,F), Yellow-crowned Tyrannulet (2G), Golden-faced Tyrannulet (2G,F), Olive-striped Flycatcher (2G,F), Yellow-olive Flatbill (2G), Mottle-backed Elaenia (2G), Common Tody-Flycatcher (2G), Olive-chested Flycatcher (2G), Long-tailed Tyrant (2G), Piratic Flycatcher (2G), Social Flycatcher (2G), Short-crested Flycatcher (2G), Masked Tityra (2G,F), Inca Jay (2G,F), White-banded Swallow (2G,F), Olivaceous Greenlet (2G), Swallow Tanager (2G), Paradise Tanager (2G,F), Yellow-bellied Tanager (2G,F), Spotted Tanager (2G,F), Blue-necked Tanager (2G,F), Green-and-gold Tanager (2G,F), Turquoise Tanager (2G,F), Golden Tanager (2G,F), Bay-headed Tanager (2G,F), Fawn-breasted Tanager (2G,F), Guira Tanager (2G,F), Blue-gray Tanager (2G), Palm Tanager (2G,F), Silver-beaked Tanager (2G), White-lined Tanager (2G), Yellow-throated Bush-tanager (2G,F), Buff-throated Saltator (2G,F), Grayish Saltator (2G), Chestnut-bellied Seedeater (2G), Lesser Seed-Finch (2G), Yellow-browed Sparrow (2G), Orange-billed Sparrow (2G,F), Subtropical Cacique (2G,F), Crested Oropendola (2G,F), Russet-backed Oropendola (2G,F), Orange-bellied Euphonia (2G,F), Thick-billed Euphonia (2G).

Uncommon: Fasciated Tiger-Heron (R), Gray-fronted Dove (2G,F), White-breasted Parakeet (2G,F), Band-bellied Owl (F), Blackish Nightjar, Green-fronted Lancebill (F), Ecuadorian Piedtail (F), Black-throated Brilliant (2G,F), Violet-headed Hummingbird (2G,F), Wire-crested Thorntail (2G,F), Black-eared Fairy (2G,F), White-bellied Woodstar (2G,F), Little Woodpecker (2G), Collared Trogon (2G,F), Highland Motmot (F), Coppery-chested Jacamar (2G,F), Black-streaked Puffbird (F), Lanceolated Monklet (2G,F), Red-headed Barbet (2G,F), Spotted Barbtail (2G,F), Black-billed Treehunter (F), Foothill Antwren (F), Yellow-breasted Antwren (F), Blackish Antbird (2G), White-backed Fire-eye (2G,F), Northern White-crowned Tapaculo (2G,F), Foothill Elaenia (2G,F), Golden-winged Tody-Flycatcher (2G), Lemon-browed Flycatcher (2G,F), Yellow-cheeked Becard (2G,F), Black-and-white Becard (2G,F), Blue-rumped Manakin (F), Western Striped Manakin (F), Green Manakin (F), Amazonian Umbrellabird (F), Chestnut-bellied Thrush (F), White-breasted Wood-Wren (F), Chestnut-vented Conebill (2G,F), Orange-eared Tanager (F), Masked Tanager (2G,F), Flame-crested Tanager (F), Ashy-throated Bush-Tanager (2G,F), Olivaceous Siskin (2G,F), Bronze-green Euphonia (F).

Rare: Gray Tinamou (F), Military Macaw (F), Spot-winged Parrotlet (F), Spangled Coquette (2G,F), Amethyst Woodstar (2G,F), Equatorial Graytail (2G,F),  Fiery-throated Fruiteater (F), White-crowned Manakin (F), Orange-crested Flycatcher (F), Olive Finch (R).

Copyright © 2010 by Lelis Navarrete

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Meet the Author

Lelis Navarrete – Birding tour leader. Lelis has 19 years of experience as a birding guide and naturalist in the field. He has led groups of birders throughout most of Latin America, guiding frequently in countries like his native country of Ecuador and in the Galapagos Islands, Colombia, Peru, Bolivia, Brazil and Panama. A Biology B.Sc. graduate from Universidad Católica in Quito, Lelis has supported Jocotoco Foundation since its founding in 1998 and was an active Board Member until 2010 supporting Ecuadorian bird and wildlife conservation. Lelis divides his time between his two great passions in life: birding and spending time with his wife Solange and son Fabian with whom he lives in Quito.


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