El Cajas National Park

El Cajas National Park was formed during the ice age when large accumulation of snow formed large blocks of ice that slowly pushed down hill.  This enourmous pressure from the ice moving downhill formed many shallow lakes of glaciar origin and curved window-like valleys typical of glaciation that collect water from the highland marsh.

There are over 270 lakes in this park of 28,544 hectars of mostly high altitude ecosystems (3,100 to 4,450 masl).  There are 150 species of birds that have been recorder in this park with exceptional endemic birds like the Violet-throated Metaltail which can only be found in this park, the Red-rumped Bush-Tyrant which is very difficult to find elsewhere, the Giant Conebill, and the Tit-like Dacnis which is also very difficult to see anywhere else. 

This are constitutes and IBA in Ecuador (Birdlife IBA Factsheet EC063 - El Cajas Mazan).


BIRDS of El Cajas National Park

LLuviuco Lake - El Cajas


Tit-like Dacnis - Male

Tit-like Dacnis - Female

Blue-mantled Thornbill


Tit-like Dacnis

Tit-like Dacnis

Blue-matled Thornbill



Black-and-chestnut Eagle

Black-and-chestnut Eagle



Black-and-chestnut Eagle

Black-and-chestnut Eagle



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