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 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.
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.
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.
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.
Mindo is a popular weekend escape for people from busy Quito. Avoid weekends and public holidays like Carnival and Easter.
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 details read our summary of the highlights by season.
Highlights by Seasons
- 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.
- 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.
- Frigate birds come to the island if storms are blowing on the Gulf of Mexico.
- 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
Daily from 8 am 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.
During the dry season (May to September) rain is rare, it's less hot and there are fewer mosquitos. This time of the year is the peak season and prices are at the top level.
Breeding season on the Isle of Lunga (one of the Treshnish Isles) starts in the middle of April. To make sure to have thousands of them on Lunga Island I recommend a visit not before May. They stay on this island until the beginning of August. I went there at the end of June and besides puffins, I saw chicks from the guillemot, razorbill, and shag. The puffin chicks are hidden in the burrows and you may encounter them only when they leave the nest.
The bst time is during the dry season. June may also be a good option with fewer tourists and lower rates.
The dry season last from Dec. until April/May. Anyway this is one of the wettest regions in the world with 7 liters of rain each year. The climate is humid tropical. The driest month is March and the wettest is August.
The gannets start nesting in August and stay latest until April when the chicks are fledging.
- The mating rituals are spectacular to observe and occur at the beginning of the nesting season.
- The breeding population reaches the peak in November.
- In summer; around December to February, you can watch how the chicks get fed.
- In March/April, the juveniles leave the nest.
- Late autumn and beginning of winter; from May until July; most of the gannets migrate to Australia.
The summertime is the peak season from December to March. Weekends are more crowded due to beach visitors and surfers. Limited parking, therefore, visit the colony either early in the morning or late afternoon at weekends; mid-week and spring are less busy. More crowded on sunny days and very few visitors during cold, rough days.
Warmest months are in the summer from December until March often with pleasant temperatures around 20 °C at daytime and 10-12°C in the night. The coldest months are in the winter from June to August, but it's not freezing. Most rainfall in winter but it already starts in May with the peak in July. Driest months are in the summer from November to February/March. The best months for swimming between the flags are January until March, but the sea temperature is still lower than 20 °C.
Be prepared for the windswept coastline and bring a warm jacket. If you are downwind, you experience the penetrating smell of gannet poo.