Denis Drouin’s Diary
Climate Change, Canopies and Wildlife in the Ecuadorian Andes

« Back to all Posts

October 2, 2009: Romance, Ecuador style

CrockOfTheRockSL  It is a day off today, but for the TNT Team (Tony DeNis Tony) waking up early is not a problem. Effectively one of the activities proposed is to: get up early, 04:00 am, and walk to the “cock of the rock” love parade site. Noe is our guide. The “cock of the rock” is a pretty red headed black back bird. Noe carefully warns us not to take flash photos and be very quiet so as not to disturb the birds. Once again, the wonderful nature show is well worth the effort. Gradually some males approach the site and start to dance and sing. The song is more like a scream or a shout than a song. One and only one female arrives and looks at these males with a very independent appearance, in order to choose the most beautiful singer of the group. They sing louder and louder. They inflate their necks to triple or quadruple its usual size. It is something to see. I feel like being in a National Geographic movie. It is gorgeous! If a human male had to do only 10% of what these birds do to win a female, this would for sure be the the beginning of the end of humanity. I’ll CrockOfTheRock  remember that moment for the rest of my life, believe me. After this spectacular dance show we head back to the lodge for breakfast. My second activity of the day is a visit to ”Tulipe Archaeological Site-Museum.” Tulipe was built by the Yumbo people, who inhabited the north and north western valleys and mountains around Quito from around 800 to 1660 AD. It’s thought that the Yumbo people migrated to the Amazon after a great eruption of the Pichincha Volcano in 1660, and this theory is currently being investigated. Click here for more details. We have lunch in a local restaurant in Nanegalito. We finally walk back up for dinner. Later AnTony Fisher and me DeNis, put red clothes on our head imitate “the cock of the rock”, having Agi acting as the female bird. It was fun. Everybody was laughing at the two crazy guys trying to mimic these very special birds.

Click image to enlarge.