Birders rejoice at the tremendous diversity of avian species in the Amazon rainforest – over 1500 in total, a whopping 500 of which can be seen right from Sacha Lodge. That’s almost as many bird species as in all of North America! The lodge’s location in upper Amazonia among a variety of habitats makes it an ideal place for even some of the rarest of birds. Plus, the comfort and accessibility of Sacha Lodge make for an unparalleled experience birding in the Amazon.
What was once a trip only for true adventurers and explorers has now become accessible to everyone. Travelers no longer need to rough the elements of the rainforest in order to be immersed in the world of colors and calls of hundreds of Amazon birds. With itineraries designed specifically to highlight the most popular species around the lodge, even the least experienced birders will be able to spot these winged creatures.
What makes Sacha Lodge such an ideal location for birds?
There are two main reasons that Sacha Lodge is an excellent place to spot birds: location & access. Sacha’s location is on the broad meander plain between the Napo River and the Aguarico River, which have created a wetland environment of blackwater inlets, oxbow lakes, and palm-rich swamp-forest. This is ideal for birds since it provides the perfect balance of diverse fruits and insects for their diets and makes for ideal nesting in all levels of the sturdy trees of the rainforest!
The other aspect that makes Sacha great for birding is the access – trails, boardwalks, and even a canopy tower allow visitors to explore the depths of the rainforest at all levels. The trails and boardwalks traverse swamp forest and varzea (seasonal floodplains), which allows visitors to go deep into otherwise inaccessible parts of this pristine jungle environment.
The crown jewel of Sacha’s birding experience is undoubtedly the 360-degree panoramic wooden tower, which puts explorers right into the canopy. Just a few years ago, these towers didn’t really exist at Amazon lodges, meaning that beyond the sounds, birders were left to their imaginations as far as what these canopy-dwelling birds looked like. Sacha Lodge is among the first Amazon lodges to build a tower into the canopy, providing exclusive access to a part of the rainforest that is still largely undiscovered.
A staple activity on all of the tours at Sacha Lodge is a visit to the nearby clay lick. For most travelers, watching as hundreds of colorful parakeets and parrots flock to this large clay wall is a peculiar sight. In fact, clay licks are an essential part of of the parrot’s nutrition – since their diet is comprised largely of berries and occasionally toxic plants, ingesting the clay acts as a natural anti-toxin and antacid for them.
Just a few of the rare species you might spot around Sacha Lodge:
- Zigzag Heron
- Scarlet-shouldered Parrotlet
- Lanceolated Monklet
- Collared Puffbird
- Rufous-headed Woodpecker
- Short-billed Leaftosser
- Dot-backed Antbird
- Ochre-striped Antpitta
- Chestnut-belted Gnateater
- Orange-crested Manakin