Milpe Bird Sanctuary (1 hour)
A further 40 km along the main highway from Quito, just before the town of Los Bancos, is the Milpe road and a superb Mindo Cloudforest Foundation reserve. The road hosts good mixed flocks, and trails in the reserve allow access inside the forest. A host of other tanagers call this area home, including Swallow, Ochre-breasted, Rufous-throated, and Lemon-rumped; over twenty species of this spectacular family are possible here in a day. Chocó Toucans and Pale-mandibled Araçaris are often seen in the more open areas. The highlight of the forest is the Club-winged Manakin lek, where during most of the year the males display on perches close to the trail. Don’t forget to look close to the ground for the elusive Esmeraldas Antbird, or in the trees for Chocó Trogon, Chocó Warbler, and superb mixed flocks. The feeders attract Green-crowned Brilliant, Green Thorntail, White-whiskered Hermit, and Crowned Woodnymph. If the sun gets too intense, you can cool off with some fresh fruit juice at the Restaurante Mirador Río Blanco in nearby Los Bancos where up to a dozen species of tanager come to feed on the bananas put out for them.
Displaying Club-winged Manakins are the reason to visit to Milpe.