Milpe Bird Sanctuary

  • Start dateMarch, 2004
  • Hectares protected100 (250 acres)
  • Altitude1020 - 1150 m (3600 ft avg)
  • Habitat typeChocó-Andean foothills rainforest
  • Important Bird AreaLos Bancos - Milpe (EC041)

Land of many manakin leks…

Both Club-winged and Golden-winged manakins are relatively easy to observe, photograph and enjoy. Seasonally, the White-bearded Manakin is here too, popping and whirring. Please see more about these marvelous creatures in our Ecological Inquiry program, but come to Milpe to see them live!

Mindo Cloudforest Foundation invites birders and nature lovers to explore and enjoy the Milpe Bird Sanctuary. This is our Chocó-Andean foothills reserve and official headquarters, located in the Birdlife International defined Important Bird Area Los Bancos-Milpe (EC041). Opened in March 2004, Milpe has recently been expanded to 100 hectares (247 acres), now including the adjacent ‘Milpe Gardens’ which has easier access to the Chalhuayacu river valley and makes a great addition to our already ample trail system.

The Bird Sanctuary covers an altitudinal range from 1020-1150m (3350-3770 ft) and is located 700m off kilometer 91 of the main Calacalí-Los Bancos highway on an all-weather road. Entrance tickets can be purchased at either of the two entrance areas and parking lots. Look for the MCF signs. Birding guides consider this one of the finest sites in all of Ecuador and many of the most spectacular Chocó Endemics occur here: Plumbeous Forest-Falcon, Plate-billed Mountain-Toucan, Glistening-green Tanager, Chocó Trogon, Club-winged Manakin and Long-wattled Umbrellabird to name just a few. This site is also known for having the rare Moss-backed Tanager!
At Milpe Bird Sanctuary, beyond the great birding, you can buy t-shirts and locally hand crafted memorabilia and get refreshments at the gift shop. We offer lodging and facilities for tourists, researchers, students, interns and volunteers, and fresh roasted, shade grown arabica coffee. With some pre-arrangement, we are happy to cook full meals for visiting groups. Why bring a boxed lunch full of junk food or run into town to eat?

Milpe Bird List
Maps & Directions
White-bearded Manakin (Joachim Teunen at Milpe)

White-bearded Manakin at Milpe