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Republic of Colombia

Golden-collared Manakin
Golden-collared Manakin Manacus vitellinus ©Sam Woods Website

Colombia has 1910 bird species, according to the latest checklist following the South American Checklist Committee, which is more birds than any other country in the world and a number that is growing every year though new discoveries and range extensions.

In addition to the Hilty fieldguide the excellent two volume Guide to the Birds of Northern South America provides a comprehensive coverage.

With the great improvement in the security situation in the past decade, many areas of the country are now stable and safe for birders to return. However still very few birders have seen such legendary critically endangered birds as the Blue-billed Curassow, Gorgeted Wood-Quail, Chestnut-bellied Hummingbird, Colombian Mountain Grackle, Recurve-billed Bushbird, Yellow-eared parrot, Santa Marta Parakeet, Fuertes's Parrot and Dusky Starfrontlet. Fortunately due to the conservation efforts of Fundación ProAves, all these and many more endangered species are now protected by a growing network of nature reserves, which offer good accommodation and facilities for researchers and visiting birders.

Whilst Colombia's dangerous reputation is now to some extent unjustified, for example kidnappings are more prevalent in countries like Mexico, Brazil and Venezuela, one should never be complacent, as the guerrilla presence remains in some remote areas, particularly the coca-growing lowlands of the Colombian Amazon. As with other Latin American countries, avoid travelling overnight. The British Foreign and Commonwealth office website provides a good starting point for up to date security advice, but some 'general area' warnings cover safe areas, for example Ocaña in Norte de Santander (for Recurve-billed Bushbird). We strongly recommend that anyone wishing to wish Colombia work with tour operators, or organisations such as ProAves that have up to date local knowledge for specific areas.

Colombians are extremely hospitable towards foreigners and they will make certain that your impression of their beautiful country is something different to what is often presented in the international press. Unfortunately, facilities in many reserves and national parks are often rustic owing to the lack of ecotourism in recent decades. However, this is changing as exemplified by the luxury of the scenic El Dorado bird reserve in the endemic rich Santa Marta area, where 17 (at least) endemics can be found, many of them with little difficulty.

There are still some good areas in the vicinity of Bogotá, especially the marshes near the airport with the key birds being Bogotá Rail and Apolinar's Wren, and an area below Chingaza NP where the Flame-winged Parakeet can be seen.

The Cerulean Warbler bird reserve in Santander is more interesting for the Gorgeted Wood-Quail, White-mantled Barbet and Black Inca. For lowland species in the Magdalena Valley the Paujíl reserve is recommended for the Blue-billed Curassow as well as less elusive species such as Sooty Ant-Tanager and Beautiful Woodpecker. For the more energetic birder the eponymous Dusky Starfrontlet and Chesnut-capped Piha bird reserves, or the spectacular Mirador reserve where Fuertes’s Parrot was rediscovered in 2002, all involve some good hiking or the use of horses. Many areas in the south of Colombia are still problematical, but the large Pangan bird reserve in Nariño contains many endemics such as Chocó Vireo as well as others such as Long-wattled Umbrellabird and Banded Ground-Cuckoo whose ranges straddle the border with Ecuador.

Colombia is a must for any serious birder though a single trip can only hope to sample its extraordinary biodiversity.

Top Sites

Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta

Information

Satellite View


Endemic & Endangered Birds of the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta

Colombia is one of the countries with the highest biodiversity on the planet, the highest number of animal and plant species per square kilometer anywhere in the world. With 1871 bird species, it has the largest number of bird species of any country on earth, this number continue to rise each year, 74 of the birds are endemic, (last updated 2009).

Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta is completely isolated from the Andes Mountains. It is a Biosphere Reserve and a National Park, overlooking the Caribbean coast of northern Colombia. With only 1.48% of the national territory, Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta nevertheless has 635 bird species - 35% of the whole Colombia. Although smaller than the state of Connecticut (US), Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta contains the single highest concentration of endemic bird species (36) found on the planet and more resident bird species than the continental USA! 18 of the species are facing a risk of extinction at a global level.

Birding

Birdwatching is carried out entering from Santa Marta to Minca and then to El Dorado Reserve in the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta, where most of the endemics can be spotted, such as: Santa Marta Sabrewing Campylopterusphainopeplus (Rare, Endemic &Endangered), Santa Marta Parakeet Pyrrhuraviridicata (Endemic & Endangered), Santa Marta Bush-Tyrant Myiotheretespernix (Endemic & Endangered), Santa Marta Mountain-Tanager Anisognathusmelanogenys (Endemic), Santa Marta Brush-Finch Atlapetesmelanocephalus (Endemic), Santa Marta Warbler Basileuterus basilicas (Endemic & Vulnerable( among others. Other birds non-endemic birds include: White-tipped Quetzal Pharomachrus fulgidus, Blue-napedChlorophonia Chlorophonia cyanea, White-sided Flowerpiercer Diglossa albilatera

How to get there: From Bogota, there are direct short flights (1.5hr) to Santa Marta, the nearest big town. To reach the El Dorado Reserve, we pass through Minca 30 minutes from Santa Marta, where a lot of birds can be seen of different species. The Reserve lies between 1100m - 2700m. The way to go there is a bit difficult and a 4X4 is definitely needed, the track being in very bad conditions, from Minca, it takes 1.5hr for a good driver to reach the El Dorado Lodge (20km). The lodge has a beautiful panoramic view on Santa Marta, overall at sunset, it is located in a magnificent garden filled of flowers attracting a lot of birds (mainly Hummingbirds) and it is the place for Santa Marta Sabrewing. From the lodge, it is recommended to drive to the top of the mountain, it takes one hour to drive 6km, but it is worth leaving at 05.00 am to see the sunrise, the view of the Sierra with palm trees above the clouds is exceptional. The track between El Dorado Lodge and the top is also the best place to find most of the Santa Marta endangered birds.

Contributor

Marie-France Grenouillet

Photographer

Contributor of: Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta

http://www.planetstillalive.com/america/colombia/

Number of Species

Number of bird species: 2009

As at November 2016

Endemics

Number of endemics: 85

Non-Passerines (38): Chestnut-winged Chachalaca Ortalis garrula Colombian Chachalaca Ortalis columbiana Cauca Guan Penelope perspicax Blue-billed Curassow Crax alberti Chestnut Wood-Quail Odontophorus hyperythrus Gorgeted Wood-Quail Odontophorus strophium Colombian Grebe Podiceps andinus Bogota Rail Rallus semiplumbeus Tolima Dove Leptotila conoveri Santa Marta Parakeet Pyrrhura viridicata Brown-breasted Parakeet Pyrrhura calliptera Barred Parakeet Bolborhynchus lineola Rufous-fronted Parakeet Bolborhynchus ferrugineifrons Indigo-winged Parrot Hapalopsittaca fuertesi Todd's Nightjar Caprimulgus heterurus White-chested Swift Cypseloides lemosi Bogota Sunangel Heliangelus zusii Blossomcrown Anthocephala floriceps Black-backed Thornbill Ramphomicron dorsale Gorgeted Puffleg Eriocnemis isabellae Colorful Puffleg Eriocnemis mirabilis Black Inca Coeligena prunellei White-tailed Starfrontlet Coeligena phalerata Dusky Starfrontlet Coeligena orina Santa Marta Woodstar Acestrura astreans Red-billed Emerald Chlorostilbon gibsoni Chiribiquete Emerald Chlorostilbon olivares Santa Marta Sabrewing Campylopterus phainopeplus Chestnut-bellied Hummingbird Amazilia castaneiventris Indigo-capped Hummingbird Amazilia cyanifrons Sapphire-bellied Hummingbird Lepidopyga lilliae Blue-tailed Trogon Trogon comptus Sooty-capped Puffbird Bucco noanamae White-mantled Barbet Capito hypoleucus Five-colored Barbet Capito quinticolor Grayish Piculet Picumnus granadensis Beautiful Woodpecker Melanerpes pulcher Choco Woodpecker Veniliornis chocoensis

Passerines (47): Silvery-throated Spinetail Synallaxis subpudica Rusty-headed Spinetail Synallaxis fuscorufa Streak-capped Spinetail Cranioleuca hellmayri Santa Marta Foliage-gleaner Automolus rufipectus Recurve-billed Bushbird Clytoctantes alixii Parker's Antbird Cercomacra parkeri Moustached Antpitta Grallaria alleni Santa Marta Antpitta Grallaria bangsi Cundinamarca Antpitta Grallaria kaestneri Bicolored Antpitta Grallaria rufocinerea Brown-banded Antpitta Grallaria milleri Santa Marta Tapaculo Scytalopus sanctaemartae Pale-throated Tapaculo Scytalopus panamensis Upper Magdalena Tapaculo Scytalopus rodriguezi Stiles's Tapaculo Scytalopus stilesi Brown-rumped Tapaculo Scytalopus latebricola Paramillo Tapaculo Scytalopus canus Antioquia Bristle-Tyrant Phylloscartes lanyoni Santa Marta Bush-Tyrant Myiotheretes pernix Apical Flycatcher Myiarchus apicalis Chestnut-capped Piha Lipaugus weberi Choco Vireo Vireo masteri Niceforo's Wren Thryothorus nicefori Santa Marta Wren Troglodytes monticola Apolinar's Wren Cistothorus apolinari Munchique Wood-Wren Henicorhina negreti Santa Marta Warbler Basileuterus basilicus White-lored Warbler Basileuterus conspicillatus Yellow-crowned Redstart Myioborus flavivertex Black-and-gold Tanager Bangsia melanochlamys Gold-ringed Tanager Bangsia aureocincta Black-cheeked Mountain-Tanager Anisognathus melanogenys Multicolored Tanager Chlorochrysa nitidissima Turquoise Dacnis-Tanager Pseudodacnis hartlaubi Caqueta Seedeater Sporophila murallae Chestnut-bellied Flower-piercer Diglossa gloriosissima Sierra Nevada Brush-Finch Arremon basilicus Santa Marta Brush-Finch Atlapetes melanocephalus Yellow-headed Brush-Finch Atlapetes flaviceps Dusky-headed Brush-Finch Atlapetes fuscoolivaceus Antioquia Brush-Finch Atlapetes blancae Sooty Ant-Tanager Habia gutturalis Crested Ant-Tanager Habia cristata Mountain Grackle Macroagelaius subalaris Red-bellied Grackle Hypopyrrhus pyrohypogaster Baudo Oropendola Gymnostinops cassini Velvet-fronted Euphonia Euphonia concinna

Checklist

Checklist

iGoTerra Checklist

Fatbirder Associate iGoTerra offers the most comprehensive and up to date birds lists on the web

Useful Reading

Field Guide to the Birds of Colombia

By Miles McMullan, Thomas M Donegan and Alonso Quevedo | 250 pages with colour plates, illustrations & maps | Pro-Aves | Softcover | 2010 | NHBS Price: £21.99p
See Fatbirder Review

ISBN: 9780982761502

Buy this book from NHBS.com

Guide to the Birds of Colombia

by Steven L. Hilty, William L. Brown Paperback - 850 pages 1986 - Princeton University Press

ISBN: 069108372X

Buy this book from NHBS.com

Where to Watch Birds in South America

by Nigel Wheatley Paperback - 336 pages - 1994 - Christopher Helm

ISBN: 0713639091

Buy this book from NHBS.com

The Birds of Northern South America An Identification Guide

by Robin Restall et al, Helm 2006

ISBN: 0713672420

Buy this book from NHBS.com

Birdwatching in Colombia

by Jurgen Beckers & Pablo Florez | Paperback | Nov 2013 | Jurgen Beckers | 273 pages, 240 colour photos, 130 colour maps
See Fatbirder Review

ISBN: 9789090277851

Buy this book from NHBS.com

Useful Information

National Bird

Andean condor Vultur gryphus

Guides & Tour Operators

Click on WAND for tours, guides, lodges and more…

Birding Colombia Birdwatching Tours

Tour Operator

Colombia is usually one of those places you've heard mention, probably because of its drug problem, but never considered visiting. In reality the country is a birder's dream; with the highest species count of any country in the World, over 1810, it really is a must for any serious neotropical birder…

EcoTurs Colombia

Tour Operator

Why travel with EcoTurs: 100% of our profits goes to bird and nature conservation in Colombia by Fundacion ProAves. Ecotourism makes a real difference to the sustainablity of ProAves bird reserves. Professional guides, ten years of conservation and research experience and special attention to a safe and enjoyable holiday in paradise….

Colombia Birding

Tour Operator

Colombia Birding was born from the love of birding throughout Colombia and exploring the outstanding natural habitats of this beautiful country. I have been exploring the rich avifauna of Colombia since 2000, inventorying species, recording bird sounds, and sharing the joy of watching hundreds of cool, rare, and endemic birds with friends as we added to our life lists. At Colombia Birding we have one simple goal: sharing that same joy and making all of our clients happy! I say simple because we are a small company, carefully operated by few people allowing us to offer totally customized birding trips for every client…

Trogon Tours

Tour Operator

Trogon Trips organises birding trips in Colombia and Venezuela. Active since 2000, our trademark is a high degree of reliability against relatively low prices. We offer standard tours as well as tailor-made trips…

Manu Expeditions

Tour Operator

Manu Expeditions is a professional company based in Peru with 25 years experience, offering bespoke birding trips to that country as well Bolivia, Chile and Colombia, specialing in catering for serious bird watchers and photographers…

Manakin Birdwatching

Tour Operator

Over 18% of all bird species in the world, approximately 1876 can be found in Colombia, the real birds country. Two oceans, the Andes mountain chain dividided into three sub mountain chains, the highest coastal mountain in the world, the bio-geographic Choco, the Amazon jungle, the Orinoco plains and a great of ecosystems variety, weather, and landscapes make our country the best place for bird lovers from around the world….

Birding Pal

Information

Local birders willing to show visiting birders around their area…

Tropical Birding

Tour Operator

hanks in large part to having the world’s biggest birdlist, Colombia is rapidly returning to the mainstream birding circuit. After several successful custom trips, and a recent surge in demand for tours to this stunning Andean nation, we are now offering our first set-departure tour to this friendly mega-diverse country…

Rockjumper Worldwide Birding Adventures

Tour Operator

Colombia has more species of birds than any other country on earth; a staggering 1870 species are to be found within the confines of this incredible nation, of which at least 62 are endemic. This huge diversity of birds results from the equally diverse range of habitats: three Andean Cordilleras (Western, Central and Eastern Andes), two inter-Andean valleys (the Cauca and Magdalena Valleys), the lowlands forests of the Amazon and Orinoco regions, the isolated snow-capped Santa Marta Mountains, the Pacific and Caribbean coasts, deserts and lakes, and the rich wet forests of the Chocó all help to make this one of the most exciting and rewarding birding countries on earth…

Multicolor Birding Colombia

Tour Operator

We know the sites, the birds’ vocalizations, and most importantly, where the special birds are. We have both the skill and the patience to help you get the best possible views of the key birds. We are a friendly team, and all our guides are fully adaptable to the pace and knowledge of our clients. We speak both English and Spanish…

Birding Ecotours

Tour Operator

Birding Ecotours aims to provide world-wide birding experiences of superb quality, while contributing to environmental conservation and disadvantaged communities. Please contact us for detailed information, queries and quotations as we are happy to help you in every aspect of planning your birding holiday.

ecoTOURS

Tour Operator

Colombia, with its diverse landscapes, is home to more bird species than any other country in the world. With almost 2,000 species, be prepared to be in awe of the spectacular avifauna as we explore Colombia’s lush cloud forests, wetlands,coasts, valleys, and high mountain plains on this 14-day adventure. Join to us to visit this dynamic birding destination as we enjoy the culture, gastronomy and fine people Colombia has to offer…

Cali Tours

Website

Your local expert in Colombia

Jaguarundi Travel

Tour Operator

Colombia, with more than 1, 850 species (No 1 in the world!), is a paradise for bird watching. This avian diversity is due to the many ecosystems and geographical conditions of the area: two oceans, the three branches of the Andes, the Chocó region, the Amazon jungle, and the Orinoco plains. The climate, the diverse geography and landscapes, make Colombia the best destination for bird lovers.

Trip Reports

Click on WAND for tours, guides, lodges and more…

CloudBirders

Trip Report Repository

CloudBirders was created by a group of Belgian world birding enthusiasts and went live on 21st of March 2013. They provide a large and growing database of birding trip reports, complemented with extensive search, voting and statistical features.

*Colombia Birding Reports

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COLOMBIA Birding has been leading trips since mid 2007, and with each tour we have been tweaking and fine tuning all our services. To give you a taste of what your custom tour could be like, here are some of our past trip reports full of birds, pics, and nice stories from the field: Coming Soon…

2010 [03 March] - Matt Denton

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Our 2010 Colombia tour to the most bird-rich country on earth left little doubt this welcoming country is worthy of its title. We notched up an impressive list of 669 species, which included seeing no fewer than 35 species of conservation concern. In addition to the critically endangered Yellow-eared Parrot, we saw a further 10 endangered species all of which were country endemics with very small ranges (Cauca Guan, Bogotá Rail, Santa Marta Parakeet, White-mantled Barbet, Brown-banded Antpitta, Chestnut- capped Piha, Antioquia Bristle-Tyrant, Apolinar’s Marsh-Wren, Gold-ringed Tanager and Red-bellied Grackle)…

2010 [01 January] - Nigel Voaden

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…The reserve was established to protect Horned Curassow (after which it is named) however although the species has recently been discovered breeding it is supposedly a two-day hike to get to the area where they occur and thus off-limits for most mortals. The site is particularly reliable for Beautiful Woodpecker and Sooty Ant-Tanager and other specialities to look for include Lita Woodpecker, Song Wren, Dull-mantled Antbird, White-bibbed Manakin, Tawny-throated Leaftosser, Northern Royal-Flycatcher and Slaty-winged Foliage-Gleaner. Chestnut-bellied Hummingbird and Saffron-headed Parrot also occur here and should be looked for in more open habitat…

2010 [02 February] - David Geale

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…. A pair of Golden‐winged Sparrows taped in nicely, and we had good looks at several Black‐backed Antshrikes, a rather common bird here. In the late morning, we arrived at Sr. Tomas’ house and were welcomed by his family and a much‐needed fresh tangerine juice. There was some activity around the house before lunch; we added Rufous‐vented Chachalaca, Yellow‐olive Flycatcher, Black‐chested Jay, and a group of twelve Military Macaws. Soon after lunch we began the return trip, doing some birding but mostly wanting to get down the hill to have some birding time near our hotel late in the day….

2009 [03 March] - Nick Athanas

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This was my first Colombia trip since late 2007, and it was great to be back! The birds were even better than I remembered, and the logistically the trip was near-perfect. This tour was a custom trip to target endemics and other specialties of the northern half of the country. We went to some fantastically out-of-the-way places and saw some birds not many people ever get to see…

2007 [02 February] - Nick Athanas

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It was our first tour to this fascinating and beautiful country, and it was a without doubt a success. We saw 36 of the country’s 62 endemic species, plus numerous near-endemics difficult to see in bordering nations, not to mention 500 odd other species…

2011 [03 March] - Pete Morris

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Our 2011 Colombia tour to this amazingly bird-rich country was one of the most successful tours we ever run. We recorded an impressive 687 species, which more importantly included seeing no fewer than 43 of the widely accepted country endemics such as Cauca Guan, Colombian and Chestnut-winged Chachalacas, Chestnut Wood-Quail, Bogotá Rail, Yellow-eared Parrot, Santa Marta Parakeet, Santa Marta Screech-Owl, Blossomcrown…

2011 [01 January] - Nick Athanas

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…We headed west along the island with it’s abundance of waterbirds (we’d have more time to stop on the way back) and skirted the northern edge of the Santa Marta mountains. We stopped for lunch at a restaurant next to a river that had a nesting Common Black-Hawk, and had our first experience of the absurdly large portions that many Colombian restaurants serve. After lunch, we headed into the deserts of the Guajira Peninsula of far northern Colombia…

2010 [12 December] - David Shackelford

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Our tour covered the length of the country in search of numerous endemics and regional avian specialties, ranging from the isolated mountains of Santa Marta in the north to remote parts of the high Andes in the south above the Magdalena and Cauca Valleys. We managed a remarkable collection of over 700 species, including more than 60 species of colorful tanagers, 12 species of furtive antpittas, and over 70 species of dazzling hummingbirds!

2011 [11 November] - Forrest Rowlan

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With 74 endemic species and burgeoning infrastructure that allows new access to most of these birds, Colombia has become a must-visit destination for any international birder. And so it was that 8 Rockjumper participants, 2 leaders and one driver found themselves beginning a journey that would net an unprecedented 794 species of birds in just 23 days, including an astounding 59 endemics!

2012 [08 August] - Peter Hawrylyshyn

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2012 [08 August] - Dick Meijer & Peter Van Scheepen

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2013 [08 August] - David Van den Schoor

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…It was already my fourth visit to Colombia, let’s say more or less a clean up trip. We both had seen the more widespread species of this area on previous trips, so the focus was mainly on lifers, endemics and a few possible future-splits. We managed to see (or hear) 806 species. All in all, we had a very successful trip, which can be recommended!..

2013 [06 June] - Steve Hilty

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…On day 4 we birded the Otún-Quimbaya Reserve, and enjoyed Torrent Ducks, Red-ruffed Fruitcrows, endemic Cauca Guans, and a rain-threatening afternoon. But the big show occurred after dark when we (accidentally) discovered a roosting Moustached Antpitta while owling. On day 5 we spent a pleasant morning chasing elusive Chestnut-breasted Wrens, then departed for a country guesthouse in Tatamá National Park in the heart of the Western Andes….

2013 [04 April] - Hans Matheve

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…Other targets are located further down. We walked along the main road to the school and back up along the Lengueke trail. Apart from Niceforo's Wren and Turquoise Dacnis this area is also good for Yellow-browed Shrike-vireo. As we had seen it before in Venezuela, we did not try to hard for this species…

2013 [02 February] - Peter Hawrylyshyn

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…we soon saw several hummingbirds chasing each other high up in the trees. Periodically they would come to the flowers to feed, and with some patience managed to track a couple to their preferred perches just inside the forest edge where we finally got excellent photos of this elusive endemic species…

2013 [03 March] - Samuel Hansson

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Swedish

2013 [03 March] - Barry Walker

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Annotated list…

2013 [02 February] - Steve Bird

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…In no time at all we spotted our first endemic Chestnut-winged Chachalaca. Several birds gave superb views feeding in low bushes. We then moved on to some reedy pools beside the road where Cattle, Great and Snowy Egrets, Bare-faced Ibis, Wattled Jacana, Snail Kites and Purple Gallinule were all seen…

2013 [01 January] - Steve Hilty

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Annotated list

2012 [03 March] - Fabrice Schmitt

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2013 [12 December] - John van der Woude

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Finding endemic bird species and subspecies of Central and North Colombia was the main goal of this group tour with BirdingBreaks.nl. Tour leader was Laurens Steijn; Nollie and I had been with him on group tours to Madagascar and Ethiopia before. Andrés Trujillo was the local guide for ground agent Pro Aves/Ecoturs…

2013 [11 November] - Rob Williams - Santa Marta

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We made an early start the next morning to Isla Salamanca National Park, arriving just as it got light. We quickly found our main target bird here, the endemic Sapphire-bellied Hummingbird – in fact we had great looks at 2 or possibly 3 males.…

2014 [01 January] - Jesse Fagan & Trevor Ellery

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…his year we saw 33 endemics and loads of interesting subspecies and near-endemics. Highlights included a female Blue-billed Curassow, Kelp Gull(s) at Los Camerones (only the second time it has been recorded in Colombia), Dwarf and Pavonine cuckoos (the latter a lifer for Trevor!), a splendid Crested Owl, Sapphire-bellied Hummingbird (nice comparisons with Sapphire-throated), Double-banded Graytail in the coffee finca below Reinita Cielo Azul lodge, the always elusive Santa Marta Bush-Tyrant and antpitta, Turquoise Dacnis, and singing Yellow-bellied Siskin. It is really hard to pick just one from so many….

2014 [01 January] - Steve Hilty

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…we were introduced to many of the commoner dry forest and mixed scrub species, including Yellow-headed Caracaras, Short-tailed Swifts, Red-billed Emeralds, possibly as many as 10 Russet-throated Puffbirds, a Rufous-tailed Jacamar, several Pale-legged Horneros, and Bicolored Wrens. We also added an immature Common Black Hawk…

2014 [11 November] - Clayton Burne

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…We continued in this good vein adding the spectacular Blue-naped Chlorophonia, a few North American migrants including Black-and-white and Mourning Warblers as well as a host of good tanagers such as Scrub, Bay-headed, Blue-necked, Beryl-spangled and Black-capped.…

2014 [02 February] - Steve Hilty

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…We stood in the narrow corridor bordering the “Jardín Encantado,” a private hummingbird garden (called Enchanted Garden) in a small town about an hour west of Bogotá. It was sunny and warm. Sipping coffee provided by the owner, we watched in amazement at the sheer number of hummingbirds visiting the garden—at any moment easily 50 to 75 individuals were buzzing back and forth among 30 strategically-placed feeders….

2014 [02 February] - Steve Hilty

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…Here also, south of Santa Marta, we saw a few of the commoner dry forest and mixed scrub species including Yellow-headed Caracara, Red-billed Emerald, and Rufous- tailed Jacamar. Soon we began the drive eastward to the Guajira Peninsula and its fascinating desert scrub birds, with a lunch stop at the Las Acacias restaurant for some delicious Red Snapper. …

2014 [02 February] - Richard Webster & Daniel Uribe - Cauca Valley and the Western and Central Andes

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…And amazing they were, with a rich assortment of forest birds as we zigged and zagged our way back and forth across the Cauca Valley from Cali to Medellin. Along the way we saw a few marshes and ponds, and checked out a few open areas, while concentrating on the rich forests of the Andean slopes….

2014 [02 February] - Pete Morris

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…we were greeted by the ubiquitous Great Thrush, and having noted a few common water- birds such as American Coot (yellow-billed here), Spot-flanked Gallinule, Andean Duck, a vagrant Ruddy Duck, Blue-winged Teal, Solitary and Spotted Sandpipers and Yellow-hooded Blackbirds, we found our first target, the smart Bogota Rail…

2014 [03 March] - Richard Webster & Gustavo Bautista - Santa Marta

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…The first endemic was Chestnut-winged Chachalaca before breakfast. Heading east, we were soon on Isla Salamanca, with a national park of the same name. Coastal marshes provided a quick hit of widespread birds such as Limpkin and Snail Kite, and the adjacent uplands Russet-throated Puffbird and Bronzed (Bronze-brown) Cowbird. With persistence we found the Critically Endangered Sapphire-bellied Hummingbird at the park entrance station…..

2014 [11 November] - Allan Drewitt

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Colombia is, of course, the ultimate birding location, with around 1900 species, more than any other country, fourteen Endemic Bird Areas and around 73 endemic bird species. This is an account of our eighteen-day trip to the central Andes region, in the company of our guides Pablo Florez, Johnnier Arango and José Castano, in search of specialities and endemic species....

2014 [11 November] - John Hornbuckle

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...fter a mere 3 hours in a simple hotel, take tricycle-taxi a few km along the road, collecting local guide to help search for the very localised Baudo Oropendola. One flew over and eventually another perched in a nearby tree. Drive back to bus station and continue to Turbo, using 3 vehicles, then cross the bay to Bocas del Atrato village in a hired boat. Look for Sooty-capped Puffbird in the mangroves – heard but only a poor flight view in the morning. 13.00 – 15.00 rest during heavy rain; return to mangroves when it stops, and soon have close view of a perched Puffbird! This is followed by an unexpected short view of a Chestnut Piculet, a bird I missed on both previous trips. Find a Sapphire-bellied or Sapphire-throated Hummingbird feeding on Inga flowers, a female unfortunately, so it was impossible to determine of which species. Boat back to the mainland, taxi to Turbo bus station, coach overnight to Medellin....

2015 [01 January] - Richard Webster

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...Down the mountain, we had varying views of Santa Marta Foliage-gleaner along with Golden-breasted Fruiteater, Masked Trogon, Groove-billed and Emerald toucanets, "Paltry" Tyrannulet (improbus), Montane Woodcreeper, and Santa Marta and Sierra Nevada brush-finches. Around the lodge, we had extraordinary views of the habituated Black-fronted Wood-Quails and Band-tailed Guans, while some watching fruiting trees and walking the trails and road during breaks found Lined Quail-Dove, Moustached Puffbird, Gray-throated Leaftosser, White-tipped Quetzal, Sickle-winged Guan, and Red Howler Monkey. - See more at...

2015 [03 March] - Silverio Duri & Barry Walker

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This scope of this trip was to target some of the most endangered Colombia endemics and range restricted species which are fortunately protected in fragmented forest patches thanks to the efforts of ProAves and the Colombian National Parks and watershed reserves Colombia – one of the three most diverse countries for birds on the planet along with Peru & Brazil. North of Ecuador the Andes branches into 3 distinct mountain chains, separated by the Cauca and Magdalena valleys, each with its endemic avifauna.

2015 [04 April] - Silverio Duri and Gustavo Bautista - Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta

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The Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta is an isolated mountain range topped by permanent snowfields that are within sight of the sea; it is also one of the most endemic-rich areas in the world, many of them with "Santa Marta" in the name. The principal base was a comfortable lodge on the ProAves reserve at 2650 meters on an outlying ridge of the mountains where saw a large share of those endemics, as well as many other stunning birds

2015 [06 June] - Kathi Borgmann

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...We’ve been travelling and birding from Mexico to Colombia now for about 17 months, seeing amazing places and huge numbers of cool birds. We thoroughly birded endemic rich areas such as West Mexico, Oaxaca, the Yucatan, the Chiapas/Guatemala highlands, the Costa Rica/Panamá highlands, Santa Marta and the Perijá, and have started in on the avian bonanza of the Andes. But we still hadn’t had our first taste of Amazonian avifauna yet.

2015 [06 June] - Kathi Borgmann

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...We made a brief stop at Laguna de Fuguene to look for the Bogotá Rail and Apolinar’s Wren. Apolinar’s Wrens are quite common at the Laguna and easy to see, however this is not the case for the Bogotá Rail. I am sure that there are plenty of rails in the extensive marsh but the most accessible area has a channel cleared between the reeds and the shore, and the better marsh habitats are harder to access.

2015 [03 March] - Rob Gordijn & Helen Rijkes

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Annotated sites and list

2015 [03 March] - Henk Hendriks

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...we walked along the road and it did not take long before we had good views of a White-chinned Thistletail. A llittle later a hummingbird flew by and landed nearby and turned out to be a Bronze-tailed Thornbill, our target bird for the area and a lifer for David. We then continued to the Bioandina area of Chingaza and birded most of the day along this broad track. We saw plenty of good birds but unexpected we failed to observe the Brown-breasted (Flame-winged)Parakeet.

2015 [02 February] - Steve Hilty

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...By the end of the trip we’d recorded 40 species of hummingbirds, and people that arrived a day or two early for city tours and birding around the city added two or three more—a remarkable number made possible in large part because of an explosion of feeders at several of the sites we visited. But it wasn’t just about hummingbirds. There were Oilbirds, a nice selection of antbirds, more than enough flycatchers for any enthusiast, a tremendous list of tanagers including 12 species of Tangara tanagers, the rare Turquoise Dacnis (multiple sightings), and the lovely Black-faced (Yellow-tufted) Dacnis at two sites.

2015 [05 May] - Kathi Borgmann - Reserva Los Besotes

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The reserve is Colombia’s first Important Area for the Conservation of Birds. In addition to reports of Blue-billed Curassow, this is one of the best places in Colombia, and probably anywhere, to see the rare and near endemic Red-legged Tinamou.

2016 [03 March] - Nick Athanas

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We started off in the “megapolis” of Bogotá, which served as our base for the first few nights as we made day trips to nearby sites in the eastern cordillera of the Andes. A morning in the páramo at Chingaza National Park gave us great scenery and some birds not possible elsewhere, such as Pale-bellied Tapaculo, Golden-fronted Whitestart, Buff-bellied Mountain-Tanager, Rufous-browed Conebill, Pale-naped Brushfinch, and the distinct local forms of Tawny and Rufous Antpittas, White-chinned Thistletail, and Sedge Wren...

2016 [03 March] - Steve Hilty - Santa Marta

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Overall, the extreme drought this year almost certainly played a hand in the fact that we largely or completely missed some species or groups of species (among those conspicuously absent were: rails, jacanas, and fewer large waders; almost no swifts; no response from the Black-backed Antshrike; no large woodpeckers; poor response from antpittas and from several endemics in the extremely dry and dusty areas between El Dorado and Minca; and a notable absence of seedeaters due surely to the fact that there were few grass seeds available). On the other hand, we had more shorebirds and quite good numbers of other species that we don’t routinely see, so the list balances out.

2016 [03 March] - Richard Webster - Santa Marta

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...While the endemics are a focus, there are many other great birds on the mountain. In addition to the hummingbirds, the lodge was feeding Black-fronted Wood-Quail, Band-tailed Guans, and Blue-naped Chlorophonias. Other lovely birds included White-tipped Quetzal, Masked Trogon (so tame), Crowned Woodnymph, Emerald and Groove-billed toucanets, Black-chested Jay, and Crimson-backed and Swallow tanagers. In the good fortune department were day-roosting Black-and-white Owls and the undescribed screech-owl....

2016 [02 February] - Steve Hilty - Eastern Andes & Magdalena Valley

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Remarkably, one of our top days was the humid forest above Ibague, on the east slope of the Central Andes, where we recorded, in a half-day, almost a hundred species, among them Black-billed Mountain-Toucan, Chestnut-breasted Chlorophonia, and even a male Lazuline Sabrewing at feeders. Río Claro brought a spectacular selection of large fruit-eating birds at a fruit tree where Saffron-headed Parrots, toucans, oropendolas, motmots, and even several tanagers were present. And there was an evening visit to an oilbird cave and enough antbirds, flycatchers, and becards for almost any enthusiast. Later, a search for Northern Screamers added quite a number of additional unexpected species, among them Orange-winged Parrot, a beautiful pair of Blue-and-yellow Macaws at a nest stub, and even a tiny Shining-green Hummingbird.

2016 [10 October] - Rob Williams

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...Highlights included a very cooperative Collared Trogon, Magdalena Tapaculo, Ash-browed Spinetail and Ornate Flycatcher....

2016 [01 January] - Richard Webster - Santa Marta

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...We also birded the forests at lower elevations, finding two special hummingbirds in a garden, Santa Marta Blossomcrown and Santa Marta Woodstar, and several other endemics, including White-lored Warbler. We again looked for some skulkers, with patience seeing Santa Marta Foliage-gleaner, Santa Marta Tapaculo, and Rusty-breasted Antpitta. Some other good finds on the forested slopes included White-tipped Quetzal, Strong-billed and Black-banded woodcreepers, and Golden-breasted Fruiteater...

2016 [01 January] - Ariel Brunner - Choco, Eastern Cordillera & Santa Marta

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...An unexpected highlight has been the boat ride to Utria N.P. which offered us close up views of Yellowfin tuna and Brown boobies hunting small fish; we had also 3 Band rumped Storm petrel, one of which was terminally exhausted to the point of being picked up by hand from the water...

2016 [06 June] - Steve Hilty - Central & Western Andes

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... hummingbird feeders than ever, including the ones at the Hotel Termales de Luis, which surely attract the most spectacular array of hummingbirds anywhere on the planet....

2017 [05 May] - Ross & Melissa Gallardy - Mitu

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...: In total we recorded 275 species including Gray-bellied Antbird, Chestnut-crested Antbird, Orinoco Piculet, Azurenaped Jay, Guanian Cock-of-the-Rock, Tawny-tufted Toucanet, Fiery Topaz, Pompadour Cotinga, Black Manakin, Pavonine Quetzal, Black Bushbird, and 4 species of puffbirds (Spotted, Pied, Brown-banded, and Chestnut-capped). Overall, birding was very difficult at times and being familiar with songs/calls was very important...

2017 [03 March] - Richard Webster, Diana Balcazar, & Cory Gregory - Santa Marta

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...we had an afternoon and a morning around P.N. Los Flamencos and Camarones. Landbirds were the specialties, and we saw almost all of the regional endemics, including Bare-eyed Pigeon, Buffy Hummingbird, Chestnut Piculet, White-whiskered Spinetail, Slender-billed Tyrannulet (Inezia), Glaucous Tanager, Orinocan Saltator, and Vermilion Cardinal....

2017 [02 February] - Richard Webster & Daniel Uribe - Medellin

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...The goal was Yellow-eared Parrot, and with an early morning of great weather aiding our search, we had both numbers and close views of this impressive, endangered parrot. The weather afterward was a little too good (we had remarkably little rain the whole trip, which was pleasant, but cost us some birds at times), but we still managed to find some memorable birds, including Tyrannine Woodcreeper, Rufous Antpitta, Chestnut-crested Cotinga, and a couple of mixed flocks. The next morning was spent on Morro Amarillo above Jardin, where we mostly missed Parker’s Antbird, but saw Whiskered Wren, Hook-billed Kite, Chestnut-capped Brushfinch, and Bronze-winged Parrot....

2017 [02 February] - Steve Hilty - Bogata, Eastern Andes & Magdalena

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...A couple of days later we based in the tiny town of Santa María, located on the eastern slope of the Eastern Andes at a relatively low elevation. During our two and a half days here we enjoyed some of the best birding of the trip with species that included Black Hawk-Eagle, Barred Forest-Falcon, Black-and-white Owl, Lined Antshrike, and tiny Chestnut-vented Conebills among many others. ...

2017 [02 February] - Silverio Duri

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Annotated list

2017 [02 February] - Silverio Duri - Santa Marta & Guajira

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Annotated listy

2017 [01 January] - Ross Gallardy - Western, Central, and Eastern Andes, Santa Marta, and Magdalena Valley

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...During my visit I saw a single Sapphire-bellied Hummingbird in a tree just behind the building on the south side of the road and two more hummingbirds (at least one was a Sapphire-throated) along the edge of the mangroves on the north side, again near the buildings. I took a walk along the boardwalk, but by then it was 0900 and quite hot. Other interesting birds found were Panama Flycatcher, Chestnut Piculet, Bicolored Conebill, Black-crested Antshrike, Russet-throated Puffbird, and Great Black Hawk....

2017 [01 January] - Jesse Fagan - Bogota, the Magdalena Valley, and Santa Marta

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Annotated list

2016 [11 November] - Jesse Fagan - Llanos & More

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Our highlights were many, and included a lifer hummingbird for Joanne (Bronze-tailed Thornbill; one of five new hummingbirds for her). Amy really appreciated the Brown-billed Scythebill that hung around for multiple close looks at Chicaque. Both Maggie and Dean agreed that the Pale-bellied Tapaculo, mouse-like at our feet...

2016 [11 November] - David Hoddinott - Santa Marta

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...These included several Lesser Yellow-headed Vulture soaring overhead, a fabulous Black-collared Hawk, Sapphire-throated and rare Sapphire-bellied Hummingbird, a pair of Pied Puffbird, smart Chestnut Piculet, Black-crested Antshrike, Northern Scrub Flycatcher, Common Tody-Flycatcher building a nest, Panamanian Flycatcher....

Organisations

Asociación Calidris

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La Asociación Calidris es una organización sin ánimo de lucro con sede en Cali que trabaja desde 1989 en procura de conocer más de las aves acuáticas y por ello adelanta estudios de investigación en diferentes partes del País…

Asociación Colombiana de Ornitología

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La Asociación Colombiana de Ornitología ACO se originó en el año 2002 con 106 miembros fundadores y el fin de incentivar el estudio científico y la conservación de las aves de Colombia mediante la publicación de una revista, Ornitología Colombiana. La idea surgió en el XIV Encuentro Nacional de Ornitólogos en Leticia, Amazonas (octubre del 2001) al ver la cantidad creciente de trabajos ornitológicos que se presentaban año tras año en los encuentros nacionales sin que fueran publicados ni recibieran adecuada divulgación…

Fundación Ornitológica del Atlántico - ORNIAT

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Promover el estudio, investigación y difusión del conocimiento de la avifauna del departamento del Atlántico y la región Caribe Colombiana, orientado hacia los diversos niveles, académicos, educativos, recreativo y hacia la comunidad…

Fundación Ornitológica del Quindío

La Fundación Ornitológica del Quindío es una organización no gubernamental, sin ánimo de lucro, enmarcada dentro del sector solidario que actúa como una forma asociativa de trabajo, con registro mercantil # 4323 y NIT 801.003.796.DV3 del 15 de mayo del 2002. Consta de socios fundadores, socios activos y socios benefactores…

Sociedad Caldense de Ornitología

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La Sociedad Caldense de Ornitología, SCO, el año entrante cumplirá 20 años de haber sido fundada…

Sociedad Risaraldense de Ornitología - SRO

Ser una organización sólida, con reconocimiento a nivel regional y nacional, capaz de afrontar con suficiencia los retos que demanda la conservación de la avifauna en la región…

Fundación ProAves

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Fundación ProAves is membership based bird conservation NGO that has established 11 nature reserves totaling around 40,000 acres that protect over 1,000 species, including at least 50 threatened species. It runs a nationwide monitoring programme and has established a national banding scheme. It is active in environmental education and awareness programmes in rural communities, and its educational Parrot Bus is famous nationally…

La Asociación Bogotana de Ornitología (ABO)

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The Bogotana Ornithological Association (ABO) is a nonprofit organization that seeks the conservation and study of birds and their habitats in Bogota and Cundinamarca through promoting knowledge and enjoyment of wild birds free.…

Sociedad Antioqueña de Ornitología (SAO)

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En el mundo hay cerca de 9.600 especies de aves, de las cuales Colombia tiene registradas en su territorio 1865 especies, aprox. el 20% de la avifauna mundial, cifra que la convierte en el país que más especies posee. Este número es significativo si lo comparamos con las 780 especies existentes en Estados Unidos y Canadá. Se estima, además, que unas 150 especies de aves migratorias hacen escala o migran a Colombia por el cambio de estaciones en otras latitudes…

Humboldt Institute

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The mission of the Humboldt Institute is to promote, to coordinate and carry out research that contributes to the conservation and sustainable use of the biological diversity in Colombia…

El Groupo Ornitología Universidad Nacional (GOUN)

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El GOUN es un grupo de trabajo e investigación del departamento de Biología de la Universidad Nacional de Colombia (Sede Bogotá) registrado en la Facultad de Ciencias de la Universidad…

Festivals

Colombia Bird Festival

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On hearing of my invitation to speak at the Colombia Bird Festival friends warned of kidnappings and nasty diseases. But intrigued, I googled Manizales where the event was to be held. High in the Andes it looked a beautiful city, and there were twelve universities - it couldn’t be too dangerous! I went; it wasn’t….

Museums

Project Biomap

http://www.biomap.net

The model Project BioMap, led by The Natural History Museum, Instituto de Ciencias Naturales (National University of Colombia) and Conservation International (CABS & CI-Colombia); will compile all known locality-data of Colombian birds, principally from museum specimens, and make them publicly available through the internet…

Reserves

Parque Nacional Natural Amacayacu

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The park is situated in the Department of Amazonas and covers 11.000 square miles. There is a visitors center with lodging for 40 people, a museum, an auditorium, and a research center. There are four platforms in the rain forest to observe flora and fauna, with refuges in which to stay overnight…

Parque Nacional Tayrona

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The walk to Arrecifes and beyond appears to be most productive. Look for Blue-backed and White-bearded Manakins, Jet and White-bellied Antbirds, White-fringed Antwren, King Vulture, Crested Guan, Military Macaw, Rufous-capped Warbler, Scrub Greenlet, Long-billed Gnatwren, Little Tinamou, Zone-tailed, Grey and Short-tailed Hawk, Blue-crowned Motmot, Rufous-tailed Jacamar, One-coloured Becard, Blue Dacnis, a selection of North American migrants - especially during September and October, several flycatchers including Southern Bentbill. Also Red-billed Emerald, Pale-bellied Hermit and Orange-crowned Oriole and if luck is on your side you may even see Blue-billed Currasow which is known to exist in the park and can occasionally be seen drinking from pools within the park…

Biosphere Reserves in Colombia

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Map of locations etc.

Bosque Yotoco Reserve

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Bosque Yotoco is one of the last remaining forested areas of its type on the east slope of the Western Cordillera. It is particularly important because it protects populations of Cauca Guan, Turquoise Dacnis-tanager and Multicoloured Tanager…

Via Parque Isla de Salamanca

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The Ciénaga Grande and Isla Salamanca National Parks lie along the Caribbean coast between Santa Marta and Baranquilla. Birding is best done along the main coast road, stopping at intervals to scan the pools, etc. Within Isla Salamanca there are two main areas, Cangarú; and Los Cocos. Los Cocos is the best area to visit the Mangroves and there is a walk way taking you through them…

La Planada Nature Reserve

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It is one of the best known private reserves in Colombia. The reserve covers some 3000 hectares of primary and secondary sub-tropical forest and protects several rare species of birds and mammals…

La Reserva Natural Rogitama Biodiversidad

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La Reserva Natural Rogitama Biodiversidad está localizada en el Departamento de Boyacá, municipio de Arcabuco, vereda Peñas Blancas, es parte de la Ecorregión Terrestre de la Cordillera Oriental en zona amortiguadora del Santuario de Fauna y Flora de San Pedro de Iguaque, forma parte del proyectado corredor biológico para conectar este Santuario con el SFF de Guanentá Alto Río Fonce y tiene una superficie de 29 hectáreas Para llegar, en el punto Las Delicias de la Carretera Arcabuco – Moniquirá, se toma el Carreteable que va al Alto de Gaitas y a dos kilómetros está la Reserva. Macrocuenca: Río Magdalena. MicroCuenca: Rió Conocubá, ó Pómeca…

Laguna de Sonso Wetland

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There is a reserve centre with information about the reserve, and the wardens can give you directions to the lake…

Parque Ucumarí

Satellite View

There is a short nature trail through the forest. Look out for Andean Cock-of-the-rock, Moustached Puffbird, Emerald Toucanet, Cauca, Sickle-winged and Wattled Guans, Red-ruffed Fruitcrow, Plumbeous-crowned Tyrannulet, Bar-crested Antshrike, Andean Cock-of-the-rock, Pale-eyed and Glossy-black Thrushes, Greyish Piculet, Multicoloured Tanager (rare) and Moustached Antpitta. Hummingbirds include Greenish Puffleg, Gorgeted Woodstar, Green Violetear, Andean Emerald and Booted Racket-tail…

Reserva Natural Río Ñambi

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Over 300 species have so far been recorded here so the potential is great. In 1991 a new species of vireo was discovered in the reserve and should be looked for gleening high in the canopy. It has also been seen on several occasions from the balcony of the reserve cabin…

Parque Nacional Los Katíos

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More than 450 species of bird (representing respectively 25% and 50% of the avifauna of Colombia and Panama) have been recorded within the park…

Reserva Hidrográfica de Río Blanco

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En la reserva de Río Blanco se han identificado hasta el momento 286 especies de aves. Se piensa que, dadas las características de mosaico que presenta el paisaje de la reserva y el amplio gradiente altitudinal que cubre, el número de especies puede ser mayor. La reserva alberga especies de aves únicas en esta región de Colombia. Nueve de ellas están en peligro de extinción y han encontrado en la reserva una de las últimas oportunidades de perpetuar la especie…

Blogs

The Gambling Bird

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The birding adventures of a nomadic expat. Currently in Bucaramanga, Colombia.

Other Links

Aves de Colombia

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Photographs of Colombian birds…

Photographers & Artists

Artist - Robin Schiele

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See also: http://www.robinschiele.com/about/index.html and
https://www.facebook.com/RobinSchiele.NatureArtist
Robin SchieleVilla De Leyva, Boyaca - ColombiaRobin Schiele - Fine ArtistMember Since: 02/07/2009Add to Watch ListJoin E-Mail ListVisit WebsiteContactRobin Schiele, a Guatemalan born in Nicaragua, has a truly international education. Robin has dedicated most of his life to the study and portraiture of endangered species of fauna in Central and South American tropical forests. He has been involved with several conservationist organizations in the preservation of the natural resources of Guatemala.

Photographer - Marie-France Grenouillet Wildlife Capture

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Photography needs a lot of patience and time, which I accept with pleasure. My camera has taught me how to look around more carefully to observe the beautiful details of daily life and overall ‘she‘ allows me to translate my emotions through nature & wildlife…

Aves de Colombia

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Fotografias de Aves - Bird Photographs from Colombia