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Birding

Birdwatching or birding is a form of wildlife observation in which the observation of birds is a recreational activity. It can be done with the naked eye, through a visual enhancement device like binoculars and telescopes, or by listening for bird sounds.

Mindo in Ecuador is the hotspot for birdwatchers from around the world. Get to know the ultimate time, which tours you should not miss in the area, where to stay, and how to get there.

Rufous-tailed Hummingbird in Mindo
Rufous-tailed Hummingbird

The best time for birdwatching in Mindo is during the rainy season. The very best months are December to April while the birds are more abundant (migratory birds) and active. Due to the high food supply birds start mating and nesting.

Rainy Season

It already starts in October and lasts until mid-May or even June. Generally, it rains from the afternoon until the next morning, but it can happen that it rains all day long. The average annual rainfall is 2.500 mm. 

Rio Brava Reserve in Mindo

Dry Season

The dry season is pretty short from June until the beginning of October. The driest months are June to August but expect precipitation even during the driest months.

Due to the proximity to the equator, the sunrise and sunset don’t change much. It’s always roughly around 6. Nights temps are around 15°C / 59°F and colder and day temps on average around 20°C / 68°F and can be up to 25. There is a high humidity throughout the year.

Crowds

Park in the center of Mindo

Mindo is a popular weekend escape for people from busy Quito. Avoid weekends and public holidays like Carnival and Easter. The rest of the time it's peaceful and quiet here. 

EC Ecuador

The Bald Eagle; the national emblem of the United States nests here again since 2009 from October to May. Honeymoon Island is also a great spot for ospreys and great horned owls. You may spot many birds of prey on the Osprey Trail, especially in the winter. If you'd like to know all the details read our summary of the highlights by season.

Highlights by Seasons
Winter
  • Nesting season of the great horned owl and the osprey.
  • December is the best time to spot the belted kingfisher.
  • January is the nesting season of the roseate spoonbill.
  • February the snowy plover starts nesting.
  • Manatees can be seen close to the island in winter.
Spring
  • Migratory birds come to the island; peak in April.
  • Great blue heron nesting season in March.
  • Stingrays move to the shore in April
  • In May shorebirds start nesting.
Summer
  • Frigate birds come to the island if storms are blowing on the Gulf of Mexico.
Autumn
  • Warblers, peregrine falcons, and other birds migrate to the island.
  • Bald Eagle mating and nesting season roughly from October to May.


Turtle nesting season from May to October; loggerhead from April to August. The North Beach trail can be walked best at low tide. Tide Times Honeymoon Island

Opening Hours

Daily from 8 a.m. to sundown. The exact time is shown at the entrance gate.

Worst Time to Visit

Late summer and autumn are the worst times due to the huge number of mosquitoes.

Top Tip

Don’t come here in a rush. Enjoy this gorgeous park while birding, hiking, sunbathing or swimming. Bring enough water and a picnic. There isn’t any food available in the Honeymoon Island State Park. We highly recommend staying nearby in the lovely Palm Court Motel. We’d booked a studio with a kitchenette. Don’t miss the Caladesi Island State Park.

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The breeding season is from November to July. Nesting time is the 'only' time they spend on land which is roughly 290 days each year. The hike is eroded. Be careful when hiking along the trail. Carry enough water; it's often pretty sunny and hot without any shelter. 

Weather

The drier season is from May until October. The north and east coast get more rain than south and west which is the leeward side. Even in winter, in the 'rainy' season from November to March you don't have to worry: Mostly showers are short and the sun returns quickly to the western part.

Crowds

Low season in spring between mid-April and mid-June as well as in fall from September to November. Busier during the "Golden Week" in Japan end of April until the beginning of May. Busy and increasing rates in summer, during Christmas, New Year's Eve and on Independence Day.

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To spot the oilbirds a guide is necessary to find the muddy trail to the Cumaca Cave. It depends on the water level if you can walk into the cave. The oilbirds are nocturnal, and at daytime, they rest in the cave.

Dry Season - Weather

Best months for Trinidad and the hike to the cave are January to May and September. Rain can always occur in Trinidad. The trail to the cave can be muddy even in the dry season but worth to do. During the rainy season, the water level of the Oropouche River can be too high for safe walking.

TT Trinidad and Tobago

For raptor migration viewing, visit in autumn. Each fall, 18,000 hawks, eagles, and falcons pass Hawk Mountain.
http://www.hawkmountain.org/visi...
Peak migration times http://www.hawkmountain.org/rapt...

For general enjoyment of mountain views & trails, visit mid-week during your preferred season for hiking. Use caution at overlooks year-round but especially in icy conditions.

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Helgoland is a fantastic year-round destination with stunning wildlife to view. However, there are some very special months:

Highlights

During the bird migrations in spring and fall it turns into a birdwatcher’s paradise with an average of 250 bird species. Mid-June until early-July for about 2 weeks: The event is amazing and called ‘Lumensprung’. In the late afternoon the adult guillemot are attracting their youngsters to jump into the ocean from a 40m+ height. The exact time in June can be predicted each year from April on. November/December until January: Horsehead Seals give birth to their young, which is just spectacular: Heligoland Seals

Avoiding Crowds

Stay past 4 PM / overnight. Even during summer it thins out after 4 PM as the crowds of daytime visitors are gone. This way you can experience the real magic of this beautiful island. Stay at least 2-3 days and book a hotel or a B&B.

Weather

The weather is influenced by the Gulf Stream. Bright, not too hot summers and mild winters. In November/December it’s actually the warmest place in Germany. However, in some winters there is even a chance of snow. The quieter months in terms of tourist crowds are November/December until April.

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