Republic of Colombia

Chestnut-bellied Flowerpiercer Diglossa gloriosissima ©Rob Smith Website
Birding Colombia

Colombia has 1979 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 over more than a decade ago, 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.

This page is sponsored by Birding Ecotours

Top Sites
  • Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta

    InformationSatellite View
    Endemic & Endangered Birds of the Sierra Nevada de Santa MartaColombia 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.BirdingBirdwatching 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 albilateraHow 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.
Number of Species
  • Number of bird species: 1979

    (As at November 2016) of which 79 are Endemic See below:
  • Number of endemics: 46 Passerines

    East Andean Antbird Drymophila caudata Santa Marta Antbird Drymophila hellmayri Parker's Antbird Cercomacroides parkeri Santa Marta Antpitta Grallaria bangsi Cundinamarca Antpitta Grallaria kaestneri Urrao Antpitta Grallaria urraoensis Brown-banded Antpitta Grallaria milleri Santa Marta Tapaculo Scytalopus sanctaemartae Magdalena Tapaculo Scytalopus rodriguezi Stiles's Tapaculo Scytalopus stilesi Tatama Tapaculo Scytalopus alvarezlopezi Brown-rumped Tapaculo Scytalopus latebricola Paramillo Tapaculo Scytalopus canus Santa Marta Foliage-gleaner Clibanornis rufipectus Silvery-throated Spinetail Synallaxis subpudica Rusty-headed Spinetail Synallaxis fuscorufa Antioquia Bristle-Tyrant Phylloscartes lanyoni Santa Marta Bush-Tyrant Myiotheretes pernix Apical Flycatcher Myiarchus apicalis Chestnut-capped Piha Lipaugus weberi Santa Marta Wren Troglodytes monticola Apolinar's Wren Cistothorus apolinari Antioquia Wren Thryophilus sernai Niceforo's Wren Thryophilus nicefori Hermit Wood-Wren Henicorhina anachoreta Munchique Wood-Wren Henicorhina negreti Santa Marta Warbler Myiothlypis basilica White-lored Warbler Myiothlypis conspicillata 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 Dacnis hartlaubi Chestnut-bellied Flowerpiercer Diglossa gloriosissima Sierra Nevada Brushfinch Arremon basilicus Santa Marta Brushfinch Atlapetes melanocephalus Yellow-headed Brushfinch Atlapetes flaviceps Dusky-headed Brushfinch Atlapetes fuscoolivaceus Antioquia Brushfinch Atlapetes blancae Sooty Ant-Tanager Habia gutturalis Crested Ant-Tanager Habia cristata Baudo Oropendola Psarocolius cassini Red-bellied Grackle Hypopyrrhus pyrohypogaster Mountain Grackle Macroagelaius subalaris Velvet-fronted Euphonia Euphonia concinna
  • Number of endemics: 33 Non-Passerines

    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 Tolima Dove Leptotila conoveri Bogota Sunangel Heliangelus zusii Santa Marta Blossomcrown Anthocephala floriceps Tolima Blossomcrown Anthocephala berlepschi Black-backed Thornbill Ramphomicron dorsale Buffy Helmetcrest Oxypogon stubelii Blue-bearded Helmetcrest Oxypogon cyanolaemus Green-bearded Helmetcrest Oxypogon guerinii Gorgeted Puffleg Eriocnemis isabellae Colorful Puffleg Eriocnemis mirabilis Black Inca Coeligena prunellei White-tailed Starfrontlet Coeligena phalerata Dusky Starfrontlet Coeligena orina Santa Marta Woodstar Chaetocercus astreans Chiribiquete Emerald Chlorostilbon olivaresi Santa Marta Sabrewing Campylopterus phainopeplus Chestnut-bellied Hummingbird Amazilia castaneiventris Indigo-capped Hummingbird Amazilia cyanifrons Sapphire-bellied Hummingbird Lepidopyga lilliae Sooty-capped Puffbird Bucco noanamae White-mantled Barbet Capito hypoleucus Grayish Piculet Picumnus granadensis Beautiful Woodpecker Melanerpes pulcher Rufous-fronted Parakeet Bolborhynchus ferrugineifrons Indigo-winged Parrot Hapalopsittaca fuertesi Santa Marta Parakeet Pyrrhura viridicata Brown-breasted Parakeet Pyrrhura calliptera

  • Checklist

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

  • Birds of Northern South America

    | Volume 1, Species Accounts: An Identification Guide | by Robin Restall,Clemencia Rodner & Miguel Lentino | Christopher Helm | 2006 | Paperback | Covers Colombia | ISBN: 9780713672428 Buy this book from
  • Birdwatching in Colombia

    | By Jurgen Beckers & Pablo Florez | Jurgen Beckers | Nov 2013 | Paperback | 273 pages, 240 colour photos, 130 colour maps | ISBN: 9789090277851 Buy this book from
  • Field Guide to the Birds of Colombia

    | By Miles McMullan & Thomas M Donegan | Fundacion ProAves | 2014 | Paperback | 391 pages, colour illustrations, colour distribution maps, colour maps | ISBN: 9780982761557 Buy this book from
  • Guide to the Birds of Colombia

    | By Steven L Hilty, William L Brown, M Kleinbaum & G Tudor | Princeton University Press | 1986 | Paperback | 836 pages, 56 col plates, 13 b/w plates, 99 line illus, 2 maps | ISBN: 9780691083728 Buy this book from
Birding Aps
  • All Birds Colombia

    Apple iOS |
    | A complete field guide to identify all bird species recorded in Colombia - incl. songs + calls! | Mullen & Pohland GbR | 3 GB | Requires iOS 11.0 or later. |

    Planning to go bird watching in Colombia? Then this is the app for you. This app fills a gap in the region and is the only serious bird app available for Colombia. It is based on the renowned reference work of the Helm Guide Series "Birds of Northern South America" by Robin Restall, Clemencia Rodner, and Miguel Lentino. The creation of apps from the book is a co-production between Bloomsbury Plc. and Sunbird Images. The app contains 5,600 illustrations and more than 4,000 bird songs and calls in total.
Useful Information
  • National Bird

    Andean Condor Vultur gryphus
Festivals & Bird Fairs
  • Colombia Bird Festival

    La Fundación Vida Silvestre, el Bioparque Mariposario Bonita Farm y la revista Destino Café, en alianza con la Universidad Tecnológica de Pereira UTP, el Jardín Botánico UTP, la Gobernación de Risaralda, la Alcaldía de Pereira, la Corporación Autónoma de Risaralda CARDER y la agencia operadora de turismo de naturaleza Colombian Adventure, hemos programado para los días 15 al 19 de marzo de 2018 el Segundo Gran Festival de Aves de Risaralda, “RISARALDA BIRD FESTIVAL 2018″, que se llevará a cabo en el auditorio de Bellas Artes de la Universidad Tecnológica de Pereira.
Museums & Universities
  • Project Biomap

    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
  • Asociación Colombiana de Ornitología

    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…
  • Calidris

    La Asociaci
  • El Groupo Ornitología Universidad Nacional (GOUN)

    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…
  • Fundación Ornitológica del Atlántico - ORNIAT

    Twitter Page
    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…
  • Fundación ProAves

    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…
  • Humboldt Institute

    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…
  • La Asociación Bogotana de Ornitología (ABO)

    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)

    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…
  • Sociedad Caldense de Ornitología

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

    Ser una organizaci

Abbreviations Key

  • Abbreviations used in reserves sections

    Observatory WebsiteSatellite View
    EP = Ecological Park NFR = National Forest Reserve NP = National Park NR = Nature Reserve RP = Regional Park
  • EP Reserva Hidrográfica de Río Blanco

    WebpageSatellite View
    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…
  • NFR Bosque Yotoco Reserve

    InformationSatellite View
    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…
  • NP Los Katíos

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

    InformationSatellite View
    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…
  • NP Tayrona

    WebpageSatellite View
    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…
  • NP Via Parque Isla de Salamanca

    InformationSatellite View
    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…
  • NR La Planada

    WebsiteSatellite View
    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…
  • NR Laguna de Sonso Wetland

    InformationSatellite View
    There is a reserve centre with information about the reserve, and the wardens can give you directions to the lake…
  • NR Rogitama Biodiversidad

    WebpageSatellite View
    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…
  • NR Río Ñambi

    Facebook PageSatellite View
    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…
  • RP Ucumarí

    InformationSatellite 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…
Guides & Tour Operators
  • 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.
  • Birding Peace Colombia

    Tour Operator
    Birding Peace Colombia is a promoter of tourism of nature, formed by Liliana Trujillo and Valentina Bonilla, two people seeking from beginning to end to provide an excellent service. We are originating in the Department of Tolima, birders by hobby, we began to engage in bird watching for an ideal: the conservation of the ecosystems of our country;
  • Jaguarundi Travel

    Tour Operator
    Jaguarundi Travel is a Colombia tours operation company that takes pride in showcasing the incredible natural and rich cultural diversity of Colombia, a country with some of the most spectacular flora and fauna in the world. We visit rarely seen and challenging locations, places of ecological splendor.
  • 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
  • Multicolor Birding Colombia

    Tour Operator
    We know the sites, the birds
  • Piculet Birding

    PICULET BIRDING is proud to offer quality birding adventures, led by expert English and Spanish speaking guides. Our passionate and experienced professional tour negative effects of technology on society essay essay research paper leaders are Colombians or people who live in Colombia with extensive knowledge of the country and its birds. We want our clients to share in the excitement and fun of a top-notch birding adventure and to provide them the best service possible. Being a Local Colombian Company based in Cali, we are able to offer excellent value, carefully arranged, proven, and seamlessly conducted tours.
  • 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 Choc
  • Tropical Birding

    Tour Operator
    hanks in large part to having the world
  • Wild About Colombia

    Tour Operator
    Wild About Colombia operate a range of professionally led wildlife tours, including endemic-packed small group Colombia birding tour departures, all-round wildlife watching adventures, mixed focused bird watching and cultural trips, and private customised vacations.
Trip Reports

Click on WAND to see Fatbirder’s Trip Report Repository…

  • 2010 [01 January] - Nigel Voaden

    …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

    …. 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….
  • 2010 [12 December] - David Shackelford

    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 [01 January] - Nick Athanas

    …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…
  • 2011 [11 November] - Forrest Rowlan

    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] - Dick Meijer & Peter Van Scheepen

    PDF Report
    PDF Report
  • 2013 [02 February] - Steve Bird

    Report PDF
    …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 [03 March] - Barry Walker

    Report PDF
    Annotated list…
  • 2013 [04 April] - Hans Matheve

    …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 [08 August] - David Van den Schoor

    Report PDF
    …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 [11 November] - Rob Williams - Santa Marta

    PDF Report
    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.…
  • 2013 [12 December] - John van der Woude

    Finding endemic bird species and subspecies of Central and North Colombia was the main goal of this group tour with 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…
  • 2014 [01 January] - Jesse Fagan & Trevor Ellery

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

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

    …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

    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] - Clayton Burne

    PDF Report
    …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 [11 November] - John Hornbuckle

    ...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

    Report PDF
    ...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] - Henk Hendriks

    Report PDF
    ...we walked along the road and it did not take long before we had goodviews of a White-chinned Thistletail. A llittle later a hummingbird flew by and landednearby and turned out to be a Bronze-tailed Thornbill, our target bird for the area anda lifer for David. We then continued to the Bioandina area of Chingaza and birded most ofthe day along this broad track. We saw plenty of good birds but unexpected we failed toobserve the Brown-breasted (Flame-winged)Parakeet.
  • 2015 [03 March] - Rob Gordijn & Helen Rijkes

    Report PDF
    Annotated sites and list
  • 2015 [05 May] - Kathi Borgmann - Reserva Los Besotes

    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.
  • 2015 [06 June] - Kathi Borgmann

    ...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 [06 June] - Kathi Borgmann

    ...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 [09 September] - Sue Bryan

    Colombia was a country that Paul had always wanted to visit and as we had had a good experience with the guide Trevor Ellery in Venezuela last year, I was more than happy to go. With a species list of over 1900 species I was bound to see some new birds. Studying the list that Sunbird offered, I was hopeful of gaining 150+ new world ticks.
  • 2016 [01 January] - Ariel Brunner - Choco, Eastern Cordillera & Santa Marta

    PDF Report
    ...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 [01 January] - Richard Webster - Santa Marta

    ...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 [03 March] - Nick Athanas

    PDF Report
    We started off in the “megapolis” of Bogotá, which served as our base for the first few nights as we made day trips tonearby sites in the eastern cordillera of the Andes. A morning in the páramo at Chingaza National Park gave us greatscenery and some birds not possible elsewhere, such as Pale-bellied Tapaculo, Golden-fronted Whitestart, Buff-belliedMountain-Tanager, Rufous-browed Conebill, Pale-naped Brushfinch, and the distinct local forms of Tawny and RufousAntpittas, White-chinned Thistletail, and Sedge Wren...
  • 2016 [03 March] - Richard Webster - Santa Marta

    ...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 [10 October] - Rob Williams

    PDF Report
    ...Highlights included a very cooperative Collared Trogon, Magdalena Tapaculo, Ash-browed Spinetail and Ornate Flycatcher....
  • 2016 [11 November] - David Hoddinott - Santa Marta

    PDF Report
    ...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....
  • 2016 [11 November] - Jesse Fagan - Llanos & More

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

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

    PDF Report
    ...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 [02 February] - Richard Webster & Daniel Uribe - Medellin

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

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

    PDF Report
    ...: In total we recorded 275 species including Gray-bellied Antbird, Chestnut-crested Antbird, Orinoco Piculet, AzurenapedJay, 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 [06 June] - Pablo Cervantes Daza & Nick Athanas

    PDF Report
    While we have been running birding trips to Colombia for a number of years now, this was our first trip that was totally focused on photography.It was a blast
  • 2017 [08 August] - Wim Heylen

    PDF Report
    Our initial plan was to start in the north in Perijá, and then head south, birding the Eastern and Central Andes. However, due to recent security issues in the Perijá area (incl. the apparent closure of the ProAves lodge), Pablo strongly recommended us to avoid the area. So we adapted the route, and ultimately we ended up following a mostly western itinerary (Cali, Urabá) with a detour into the Central Andes for a few specialty birds (Fuertes’ Parrot, Hooded Antpitta)and for the Tolima endemics.
  • 2017 [10 October] - Mitch Lysinger

    I don't know about the rest of you, but I am certainly ready to jet back to Colombia for some serious birding fun as soon as possible! Our two week trip birding down the Magdalena Valley and up to the northern coast, and then into the Santa Marta mountains was just packed with rare and endemic species, and we only scratched the surface of what this mega-diverse country has to offer. Not only did we see more than our fair share of birds, but we enjoyed some hearty dining, and stayed in surprising comfort.
  • 2017 [11 November] - Jesse Fagan & Trevor Ellery - Llanos & More

    ...This was a great trip to the llanos and surrounding areas of Bogota. Weather cooperated this year (no serious downpours or flooding!) and are target birds fell right into place. Several days were spent on the llanos plains, in the good company of folks from Hato La Aurora, where we had spectacular looks at Jabirus, five species of ibis, Spectacled Caimans, and lots of Capybaras...
  • 2017 [11 November] - Richard Webster & Daniel Uribe - Cali

    ...Multicolored Tanager was the best of the best, with much pleasure from Red-headed Barbets, Southern Emerald- and Crimson-rumped toucanets, Colombian Chachalacas, super-saturated Blue-winged Mountain-Tanagers and Golden, Golden-naped, and Saffron-crowned tanagers, Black-winged Saltator, White-naped Brushfinches, Booted Racket-tails, Fawn-breasted Brilliants, and Brown Violetears. A perched young Ornate Hawk-Eagle was a bonus....
  • 2017 [11 November] - Rob Williams

    PDF Report
  • 2017 [11 November] - Rob Williams

    PDF Report
  • 2017 [11 November] - Rob Williams - Santa Marta Extension

    PDF Report
  • 2018 [01 January] - Jesse Fagan & Oswaldo Cortes

    There were a bunch of bird highlights at the end of the trip: both endemic ant-tanagers, Golden-breasted Fruiteater, Military Macaws, Santa-Marta Screech-Owl, Black-backed Thornbill, Beautiful Woodpecker, and White-fringed Antwren all got nods. However, it was a tie for trip favorite. Both Recurve-billed Bushbird and Crested Owl stole top honors this year.
  • 2018 [01 January] - Pieter Vrey

    ...This had further consequences as passerines started harassing the little owl – we ticked Scarlet-bellied mountain tanager, Black-headed and Superciliaried hemispingus, Rufous-breasted chat-tyrant and Blackburnian warbler...
  • 2018 [02 February] - Eduardo Ormaeche

    PDF Report
    ...Here we visited the by now famous Finca Alejandria, where we had an amazing start with species such as the endemic Colombian Chachalaca, Golden-headed Quetzal, Crimson-rumped Toucanet, and Squirrel Cuckoo around the gardens. The fruit feeders attracted several attractive species, including Scrub Tanager, Golden Tanager, Golden-naped Tanager, Saffron-crowned Tanager, Blackwinged Saltator, Flame-rumped Tanager, Summer Tanager, Red-headed Barbet, and cracker views of the incredibly beautiful Multicolored Tanager, perhaps one of the most handsome Colombian endemics!
  • 2018 [02 February] - Richard Webster & Daniel Uribe

    ... Our views of perched and flying Black Hawk-Eagles were superb, and we also enjoyed Barred Puffbird, White-bearded Manakin, and some toucans, parrots, and woodcreepers to provide a very tropical feel to folks recently arrived from a boreal climate...
  • 2018 [03 March] - Eduardo Ormaeche

    PDF Report
    We enjoyed several species of birds, including scope views of Brown-throated Parakeet, Bicolored Wren, and Stripe-backed Wren, and numerous Blue-winged Teals, Black-bellied Whistling-Ducks, Bare-faced Ibis, and a single Glossy Ibis. We also saw Yellow-chinned Spinetail, Common Tody-Flycatcher, Pied Water Tyrant, White-headed Marsh Tyrant, Snail Kite, Amazon Kingfisher, and Ringed Kingfisher. In addition there were several aquatic species, namely Rufescent Tiger Heron, Black.-crowned Night Heron, Striated Heron, Little Blue Heron, Great Egret, and Western Cattle Egret. Before we left the marshes we had nice views of our first Red-crowned Woodpecker.
  • 2018 [March] - János Oláh

    PDF Report
    We had yet another great tour to Colombia with a great selection of special birds! We had a few changes to our classic itinerary again, just like on most of the recent tours to this most diverse country.
  • 2018 [March] - Ralf Jahraus

    PDF Report
    This report is based on a 4 week, self-organised trip to Colombia using public transport, which concentrated on a few sites between Cali and Bogota. These included: Cali km 18, San Cipriano, Yotoco, Laguna de Sonso, Otun-Quimbaya, Fuerte’s Parrot site above Santa Rosa Cabral, Montezuma Road, Rio Blanco, Paramo del Ruiz and Humedal Jaboque.
  • 2019 [01 January] - Jesse Fagan

    PDF Report
    ...Libano was an important site for at least two endemic birds (Yellow-headed Brushfinch and Crested Ant-Tanager) and later a stop at La Victoria yielded White-mantled Barbet and Beautiful Woodpecker!..
  • 2019 [02 February] - Cory Gregory

    PDF Report
    ...we all braved the foot-ferry and were rewarded with an amazing study of Sapphire-throated/Sapphire-bellied Hummingbirds. Even when some of the locals went on strike and closed the road for a little bit, we found a way to see amazing birds and we ended up scoring Buff-breasted Wren, White-winged Becard, and a quick Lance-tailed Manakin at a new spot.
  • 2019 [03 March] - Ned Brinkley

    PDF Report
    All day birding Las Tangaras main trail with accompaniment of forest guard; the lodge delivered us a hot lunch directly while we were on trail. Highlights included 5 Black Solitaires, Choco Vireo, Handsome Flycatcher, Flavescent Flycatcher, Beautiful Jay, Purplish-mantled Tanager, Blue-winged Mountain-Tanager, Black-and-gold Tanager, Crested Ant-Tanager, Gold-ringed Tanager, White-headed Wren, Yellow-collared Chlorophonia, Chestnut-breasted Chlorophonia, Club-winged Manakin, Toucan Barbet, Tooth-billed Hummingbird...
  • 2019 [04 April] - Avocet Tours

    PDF Report
    The 2019 Colombia itinerary was designed to complement the previous two tours which had focused on the hotspots in the western and central Andes as well as sites within a few hours drive of Bogota.
  • 2019 [04 March] - Trevor Ellery

    PDF Report
    The 2019 BirdQuest classic Colombia tour was supremely successful, not just in that we saw almost all the target species but in that we also managed to add in a few special surprises. In total we recorded 702 species, including 58 endemics and a wealth of specialities.
  • 2019 [08 August] - Jules Eden

    PDF Report
    This was my fourth tour to Colombia within the last 18 months. The previous 3 trips were to all the usual places –[ Mitu, Magdalena Valley, Cauca Valley, Santa Marta and the Bogota area] but this trip was designed to pick off most of the remaining endemics, whilst also going somewhere my son could not only speak Spanish but also find something interesting to do whilst I was out birding all day. A
Photographers & Artists
  • Artist - Robin Schiele

    See also: and 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 - Carl Downing

    Some wonderful photos...
  • Photographer - Glenn Bartley

    Fantastic photos from a world class snapper
  • Photographer - Marie-France Grenouillet Wildlife Capture

    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…

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