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By Eduardo Ormaeche
Our Classic Colombia 16-day birding tour was perhaps one of the most enjoyable, exciting, and memorable trips that I ever had the opportunity to guide in this amazing country. Our trip started in Barranquilla, the capital of the Colombian department Atlántico and the fourth-largest city in the country. Fortunately, we arrived after the famous carnival was over (that’s the second-largest in Latin America after the Rio de Janeiro carnival), so our first night was rather comfortable and quiet.
The next day we left the hotel before dawn to the campus of the North University in Barranquilla, where at dawn we easily found the endemic Chestnut-winged Chachalaca. We saw a group of at least six individuals flying into the scrub. Sadly, the light conditions where not the best for photography at that time of day. As soon as we had seen our first target we decided to go straight to Salamanca Island Road Park, one of Colombia’s national parks, to find our second target, the endemic Sapphire-bellied Hummingbird, which is often seen near the entrance of the park. It did not take long to get superb views of this localized species feeding in the flowers of the parking lot. This place provides good birds but can very often be very quiet, so we decided to leave and return to Barranquilla to check the marshes near kilometer 4 of the main Barranquilla – Santa Marta road. This was a good move indeed. 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.
Then we left Barranquilla behind and headed to the Magdalena department to explore for three days the lowest and mid-elevations ranges of the famous Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta. The Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta is an isolated mountain range separated from the Andes chain that runs through Colombia. Reaching an altitude of 5,700 meters (18,700 feet) just 42 kilometers (26 miles) from the Caribbean coast, the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta is one of the world’s highest coastal ranges, being only 250 meters shorter than the Saint Elias Mountains in Canada. The Sierra Nevada encompasses about 17,000 square kilometers (6,600 square miles) and serves as the source of 36 rivers. For birders the most exciting fact is that is full of endemic birds. Minca is just a small village located in the lower parts of the Santa Marta range and a very popular destination among locals and backpackers as a weekend place. We arrived at the Hotel Minca La Casona after midday and decided to enjoy a nice lunch, watching the hummingbird feeders. Here we recorded Rufous-tailed Hummingbird, Steely-vented Hummingbird, White-vented Plumeleteer, and White-necked Jacobin. It was quiet and hot, so we decided to stay and watch and photograph hummingbirds. In addition to hummers we saw White-tipped Dove, Summer Tanager, and Whooping Motmot. We had a short break and then decided to explore the dry habitat below Minca. Before that outing, though, we went to look for the Black-and-white Owl that was seen roosting at daytime on our previous trip only a month ago, but it was not in the area this time. The afternoon session was slow and quiet, providing views of Blue-headed Parrot, Orange-chinned Parakeet, Crested Oropendola, Streaked Flycatcher, White-bearded Manakin, Pale-eyed Pygmy Tyrant, Swallow Tanager, and White-collared Swift. At the end of the day we scoped a group of Military Macaws at their regular spot below Minca.
The next day we had an early start to explore the road above Minca and there found a number of nice species, Golden-winged Sparrow, Streaked Saltator, Rufous-capped Warbler, Lineated Woodpecker, Black-chested Jay, Pale-breasted Thrush, Yellow-backed Oriole, and the endemic Santa Marta Foliage-gleaner. We heard Keel-billed Toucan distantly while we enjoyed flocks with Tennessee Warbler, American Redstart, Bay-headed Tanager, and Crimson-backed Tanager. After our transfer we arrived at the El Dorado Lodge (195 meters/6398 feet elevation) for lunch. The hummingbird feeders around the lodge attracted Brown Violetear, Lesser Violetear, and Crowned Woodnymph. A nice surprise was the presence of the endemic White-tailed Starfrontlet, which was a regular at the feeders during our entire stay there. The fruit feeders attracted Blue-naped Chlorophonia and Black-capped Tanager. Other birds seen around the lodge clearing included Band-tailed Guan, the endemic Santa Marta Brushfinch, and White-tipped Dove. The compost was very active, attracting Black-hooded Thrush, Slaty-backed Nightingale-Thrush, Hermit (Santa Marta) Wood Wren, and three elusive Lined Quail-Doves. We also saw a single Sierra Nevada Brushfinch and other creatures visiting the compost, such as Central American Agouti and Crab-eating Fox. Later we enjoyed Montane Foliage-gleaner, Streak-capped Spinetail, White-throated (Santa Marta) Toucanet, White-sided Flowerpiercer, and the endemic White-lored Warbler. We stayed at the compost for some time, waiting for Black-fronted Wood Quail, which was the only regular compost visitor we were missing so far, but no luck. At dinnertime the lodge staff managed to find a Kinkajou climbing down a tree to get some fruit from the feeders. A nice encounter! We went to bed soon to get ready for a very early start on the following day.
We left early for a rough 4×4 drive to the San Lorenzo Ridge (2700 meters/8858 feet elevation) to look for the high-elevation Santa Marta endemics. We left in good time to give the Santa Marta Screech Owl a try, since it is getting harder and harder to see this bird around the lodge due to the intense playback, so we decided to try further up the road. Unfortunately, the day started with a strong wind that made us lose hope. However, we decided to give it a try nevertheless in a nice pine forest area, and as a result we had fantastic eye-level views of this enigmatic species for the joy of the whole group. We arrived at the top of the ridge to be witness to one of the most amazing and perfect sunrises I ever saw in my life. It was a nice moment of contemplation and silence, admiring the perfection of nature.
After a quick breakfast we walked up the road and found Santa Marta Brushfinch, Santa Marta Warbler, and Flammulated Treehunter. We were lucky enough to watch four Santa Marta Parakeets flying at eyelevel, sadly just for a short time. But we found Streak-capped Spinetail, Santa Marta Mountain Tanager, White-throated Tyrannulet, Yellow-crowned Whitestart, Yellow-bellied Chat-Tyrant, and Scarlet-fronted Parakeet. Then we drove to the San Lorenzo research station at the right time to see the endemic Santa Marta Antpitta being fed with worms. It took a lot of time and patience, but fortunately we managed to get a nice view of the antpitta and could admire the fantastic view of the Caribbean lowlands.
We left the station and were ready to get the endemic Brown-rumped Tapaculo that we had heard calling. But unfortunately it moved and disappeared into the bush, leaving us just with leaves shaking. Back at the lodge we spent some time photographing hummingbirds and then looked for Golden-breasted Fruiteater, White-tipped Quetzal, and Grey-throated Leaftosser. We succeeded seeing all these species, but sadly the only bird that did not show up was Black-fronted Wood Quail. While waiting for the wood quail we saw a Long-tailed Weasel sneaking in silence around the compost, but even if someone would think that the weasel was responsible for keeping the wood quail away it was still fun to be able to watch this normally elusive animal for such a long time.
The next morning we said goodbye to the lodge and went to check the Palo Alto property, but even though we spent an hour there we could not find the Santa Marta Blossomcrown. Then we explored the area known as the Y (road junction) and saw the endemic Santa Marta Tapaculo, Yellow-legged Thrush, a female Santa Marta Woodstar, Rose-breasted Grosbeak, the endemic Santa Marta Antbird, Rufous-breasted Wren, Scaled Pigeon, and wonderful views of Groove-billed Toucanet. Further down we watched Thick-billed Seed Finch, Rufous-and-white Wren, Squirrel Cuckoo, Broad-winged Hawk, and Short-tailed Hawk. We went back to the highway and drove towards Riohacha, the capital of the La Guajira department. We saw a few Brown Pelicans and Magnificent Frigatebirds while driving along the coastline and Northern Crested Caracara in the drier country. Before our arrived at Riohacha we scored with Double striped Thick-knee and Bare-eyed Pigeon. We went to our comfortable hotel in Riohacha for another good dinner and another checklist-and-wine session.
Our last day in the Caribbean lowlands had arrived, and we had only one morning to explore the dry habitat of La Guajira. Our first bird was Greyish Saltator, which was followed by the striking Vermilion Cardinal, Orinoco Saltator, Chestnut Piculet, White-whiskered Spinetail, Black-backed Antshrike, Black-crested Antshrike, Northern White-fringed Antwren, Slender-billed Inezia, and Pearly-vented Tody-Tyrant. Along a few pools we saw Caribbean Hornero, Carib Grackle, Crested Bobwhite, Black-faced Grassquit, Grey Pileated Finch, and a single Glaucous Tanager. Then we tried for the elusive Tocuyo Sparrow, which it is getting harder. So we had to try at different places without success, and only at the last minute we had great views of one individual right in the open
After the Tocuyo Sparrow we went to Camarones at the coast and here saw several species of terns, including Royal, Cabot’s, Caspian, and Common Terns. We also saw Reddish Egret, Whimbrel, and American Oystercatcher and watched Roseate Spoonbill, American White Ibis, and what seemed to be a hybrid between American White Ibis and Scarlet Ibis. But, sadly, we could not find the proper Scarlet Ibis on this trip, although we had seen it on the previous trip just a month earlier. Then we went back to the hotel to collect our luggage and have lunch before our domestic flight to Pereira. Fortunately, our flight to Pereira (with a connection in Bogota) worked rather well, but we arrived late and tired at Pereira and went straight to the hotel.
The next morning we had another early start, leaving Pereira by 4.30 a.m. Unfortunately for us, though, it was raining with no sign of clearing up. Actually, by the time we arrived at Otún Quimbaya the rain became even worse and spoiled most of our birding morning at the Otún Quimbaya Flora and Fauna Sanctuary. However, we did our best and found the endemic and Endangered (IUCN) Cauca Guan, Red-ruffed Fruitcrow, Rufous-breasted Flycatcher, Sickle-winged Guan, Andean Motmot, White-throated Toucanet, Sooty-headed Tyrannulet, Streaked Xenops, Strong-billed Woodcreeper, Collared Trogon, and striking views of White-capped Parrot, Azara’s Spinetail, Streak-capped Treehunter, Whiskered Wren, Lesser Goldfinch, and a male Torrent Duck. The rain stopped by noon, but by then we had to continue to the remote Tatamá National Park and visit the famous Montezuma Eco-Lodge for three nights. The drive from Otún Quimbaya was long, but we managed to arrive at Montezuma with enough light to check the feeders and enjoy good views of Empress Brilliant, Crowned Woodnymph, Western Emerald, Andean Emerald, Rufous-tailed Hummingbird, White-tailed Hillstar, and Tawny-bellied Hermit. The fruit feeders attracted Silver-throated Tanager, Palm Tanager, Blue-grey Tanager, and Lemon-rumped Tanager. We had a tasty dinner and then made plans with our local guide for the next day’s schedule.
The next day we left the lodge at 5.00 a.m. to drive up to the ridge, which is the highest elevation in the reserve. The drive takes an hour to cover about 11 kilometers (6.83 miles) of mountain road. At the top we had another spectacular sunrise and an incredible breakfast and were just waiting for things to come. Soon we started to get our expected birds, for now it was Great Thrush, the endemic Chestnut-bellied Flowerpiercer, Smoky Bush Tyrant, and the endemic Munchique Wood Wren. Suddenly we were met by a group of soldiers from the army base located at the top of the ridge. The captain wanted to greet us in name of the Colombian army and thank us for visiting their country. They asked permission to make a group photo, and one of the soldiers also gave a present (his own scarf) to one of our participants. It was a nice moment; we were amazed and emotionally moved by such an incredible welcome. We continued looking for our birds and had incredible views of our targets, Purplish-mantled Tanager, the endemic Gold-ringed Tanager, Grass-green Tanager, Bluish Flowerpiercer, Yellow-bellied Chat-Tyrant, Cinnamon Flycatcher, Black-chinned Mountain Tanager, and Glistening-green Tanager.
The hummingbird feeders at higher elevation attracted several species such as Collared Inca and the recently-recorded at Montezuma, endemic and Critically Endangered (IUCN) Dusky Starfrontlet. It was nice to see this species for the second time after our previous trip this year, when we had the first documented record for the area. We moved to the next hummingbird feeders, but not before having a splendid view of Chestnut-breasted Chlorophonia. The next feeder station provided views of Velvet-purple Coronet, Greenish Puffleg, Violet-tailed Sylph, and another Empress Brilliant. We also had nice views of Brown Inca, but not at the feeders. We then had good views of Narino Tapaculo and further down the road enjoyed watching a Barred Hawk soaring above the ridge as well as getting beautiful views of several Swallow-tailed Kites. Our excitement reached the highest point of emotion and adrenaline when we managed to see a pair of Tanager Finches. This most-wanted and elusive bird is getting hard to find in Colombia, even at its known places. We were able to admire the couple allowing us spectacular views and behavior as well. We were more than happy! We continued our walk down the road, and then the local staff met us, who brought lunch on a motorcycle. It was a nice break and a nice field lunch indeed. After lunch we drove down the road and enjoyed the recently-described Tatama Tapaculo. A flock with a few more Glistening-green Tanagers, Gold-ringed Tanager, Golden-faced Tyrannulet, Marble-faced Bristle Tyrant, Handsome Flycatcher, Flavescent Flycatcher, Choco Brushfinch, Three-striped Warbler, Slate-throated Whitestart, and Indigo Flowerpiercer also thoroughly entertained us. Then we drove back to the lodge but made a stop on the main bridge, where we got splendid views of Olive Finch. We arrived back at the lodge late in the afternoon to enjoy incredible views of a Tropical Screech Owl roosting at daytime. The day ended with another-wine-and-checklist session.
After breakfast the next day we had a magnificent day with target after target. The morning saw us at an area called Cajones, where we wanted to focus on mid-elevation species. We started with striking views of Crested Quetzal, followed by the endemic Black-and-gold Tanager, Pacific Tuftedcheek, Golden-headed Quetzal, Uniform Antshrike, Rufous-rumped Antwren, Buff-fronted Foliage-gleaner, Scaly-throated Foliage-gleaner, Uniform Treehunter, Wedge-billed Woodcreeper, Montane Woodcreeper, Orange-breasted Fruiteater, Olivaceous Piha, Yellow-vented Woodpecker, Crimson-mantled Woodpecker, Ornate Flycatcher, Beautiful Jay, and Golden-winged Manakin. After lunch we found Scaled Fruiteater, Choco Vireo, and Andean Solitaire, but, unfortunately, the Black Solitaire appeared only very briefly and could not be seen by the whole group. We kept walking down the road and found Olive Finch for a second time and then a flock of the endemic Crested Ant Tanager. It was not easy to see them from the road, so we were lucky enough to find a narrow and steep trail that we could follow and that allowed us to get the birds much closer. We had great views. After returning to the lodge we explored the garden at the fishing pools, looking for our last target, the endemic Greyish Piculet. It did not take much time until we had great views of a pair. Sadly, our plan to look for Colombian Screech Owl after supper was spoiled by rain. However, we heard it.
We had one more morning before having to leave Montezuma, and this time we focused on the lower elevations. It didn’t take much time to locate Choco Tapaculo, Ochre-breasted Tanager, Purple-throated Fruitcrow, Three-striped Warbler, Sooty-headed Wren, which gave us a great performance, Golden-hooded Tanager, Golden-collared Honeycreeper (a female, unfortunately), Red-headed Barbet, Andean Motmot, Zeledon’s Antbird, and the endemic Parker’s Antbird. However, the highlight of the morning was without doubt the incredible male Club-winged Manakin, displaying and producing its amazing wing sounds. We said good-bye to Montezuma Eco-Lodge and headed for our next destination, Manizales, the capital of the Caldas department, to stay in a comfortable hotel in town for two nights. In the evening we went to a pasta restaurant to have a change in menu, and our participants were not disappointed; the restaurant was good and right next to the hotel. Another checklist-and-red-wine session showed that it sounds fair to say that we had a lot to celebrate!
Our arrival the next morning at the famous Rio Blanco Ecological Reserve was just in time for breakfast. The Rio Blanco Ecological Reserve is run by the governmental Aguas de Manizales organization, which protects the forest and the headwaters of the river that provides water for the city. They have developed a tourism initiative and offer facilities for birdwatchers and nature enthusiasts. The most famous of these, among birders, is the set of antpitta feeding stations, where worms attract these fascinating birds every day. So after breakfast we were guided to the first feeding station, hoping to see the elusive Bicolored Antpitta, but sadly it did not show. So we went birding for a while and found a mixed flock including Black-eared Hemispingus, Oleaginous Hemispingus, Superciliaried Hemispingus, Capped Conebill, Blue-and-black Tanager, Beryl-spangled Tanager, White-banded Tyrannulet, Green-and-black Fruiteater, Pearled Treerunner, and Streaked Tuftedcheek. Then we were called to attend the second antpitta station, where we obtained great views of Chestnut-crowned Antpitta and the endemic Brown-banded Antpitta. Finally the reserve ranger took us to the last station, where we had superb views of Slate-crowned Antpitta.
The hummingbird feeders attracted the rather dominant Buff-tailed Coronet and also Collared Inca, Long-tailed Sylph, Tourmaline Sunangel, White-bellied Woodstar, and Lesser Violetear. The afternoon was rather quiet; we only met the same mixed flock that we had seen in the morning. We tried hard for Ocellated Tapaculo, but unfortunately no cigar. However, we were very lucky to meet up with a flock of the most-wanted White-capped Tanager feeding and providing close-up views. It was truly a first-class encounter with this species. Just before dusk we tried for some night birds and were happy to enjoy Rufous-bellied Nighthawk and really great views of White-throated Screech Owl.
Before breakfast the next morning we were watching Masked Flowerpiercer, Buff-breasted Mountain Tanager, and Blue-winged Mountain Tanager around the cabins. By 7.00 a.m. the ranger took us to the first antpitta station, and this time we had very good views of Bicolored Antpitta. We had only this last morning left here, and we tried to take advantage, so we walked down the bamboo track and found Streak-headed Antbird, Flammulated Treehunter, and Rufous-crowned Tody-Flycatcher. Sadly, the Stygian Owl was not on its roost where we saw it on the previous trip a couple of weeks ago. We kept walking along the main road, and suddenly we froze, as we heard the most-wanted Ocellated Tapaculo calling next to the road. We looked for strategic places to stand and called it in, and it was not long until we saw this mythical creature skulking and walking on the forest floor, absolutely fantastic ̶ however hard it was to take a photo. On the way back to the lodge we also had great views of Sickle-winged Guan, Band-tailed Pigeon, Glossy-black Thrush, and Dusky Piha. After lunch we left Rio Blanco and headed toward the base of the Nevado del Ruiz volcano to stay at the nice Termales Del Ruiz Hotel. Before leaving the Rio Blanco area completely, though, we stooped at the guardhouse near the reserve headquarters and enjoyed nice views of White-capped Dipper and two more Andean Motmots. Later we arrived at the hotel, which is named after the local hot springs. The view from the hotel is outstanding, and the hot springs looked so inviting that the group decided to use the remaining two daylight hours enjoying the hot springs. To be honest, this was a nice, fun, and enjoyable experience, giving us a chance to relax and in some way experience something different that we are not used to on our busy birding trips.
It was cold the next morning, probably around 5°C/41°F, and we headed to the entrance of Los Nevados National Natural Park. It quickly turned into a nice and sunny day, but our main target, expected to be easy to find, was not there. The endemic Buffy Helmetcrest is normally easily seen. feeding and perching in the short bushes at the entrance, but these bushes were empty today. An hour later another big party of birders arrived on the scene, and they also were surprised about the absence of this little beauty. We waited for some time but in the meantime enjoying other species as well, such as Stout-billed Cinclodes, Tawny Antpitta, Andean Tit-Spinetail, Plain-colored Seedeater, and Black-chested Buzzard-Eagle, and even the mighty Andean Condor appeared for the joy of everybody. But still there was no sign of the helmetcrest.
We drove down the road to a small lake located next to the road, and here we found Andean Ducks and a Grass Wren. We spent a few hours in the area, but, no matter how and where we looked, there was no hummingbird. It was very sunny, so near noon we decided to go back to the hotel and watch the hummingbird feeders. This time we had great views of Buff-winged Starfrontlet, Viridian Metaltail, Great Sapphirewing, Shining Sunbeam, Black-thighed Puffleg, and Golden-breasted Puffleg. In addition we saw Mountain Velvetbreast and Rainbow-bearded Thornbill. We had lunch and planned that, after a short break, we would go back to the national park for another shot at the helmetcrest. Well, by 2.30 p.m. the sky turned dark and it started to drizzle, and then hail was falling, and the wind started to blow badly. You could bet that someone would say we would not have any chance whatever (and probably they would be right), considering the weather conditions. But we thought that we could not quit without even trying, so we drove back to the park. When we arrived the park was closed, there was nobody in the parking lot, and our little friend, Buffy Helmetcrest, one of the most-wanted hummingbirds of Colombia and the one we had been chasing all morning, was feeding in the flowers right next to the road in the most miserable weather conditions one could imagine. I am so glad that we stayed two nights at this hotel and thereby had the chance to find our main target. We returned to the hotel and democratically decided to repeat the hot-springs session.
Another morning came, and we left Termales Del Ruiz and drove back to Manizales. But we used the old road that passes below the hotel. This road has no traffic and normally provides good birding, as indeed it did for us today. We had great views of Scarlet-bellied Mountain Tanager, Blue-backed Conebill, Hooded Mountain Tanager, Rufous Wren, Crimson-mantled Woodpecker, White-browed Spinetail, Streaked Tuftedcheek, White-throated Tyrannulet, and Barred Fruiteater. We also found a very cooperative Spillmann’s Tapaculo and a nice pair of Black-billed Mountain Toucan. After such a nice morning we hit the road in earnest for the long drive to the town of Buga. At our lunch stop we saw a Fork-tailed Flycatcher.
The first hours of the next morning were spent at Sonso Lake, which is located at the edge of the Cauca River. This wetland ecosystem of 2045 hectares holds an interesting set of waterfowl and aquatic species such as Black-bellied Whistling Duck and Comb Duck, which were both seen well. We also saw Common Gallinule, Purple Gallinule, Black-necked Stilt, Blue-winged Teal, several Snail Kites, Western Osprey, Ringed and Green Kingfishers, Bare-faced and Glossy Ibises, and Fulvous Whistling Duck. In addition to the aquatic birds we also looked for some understory and scrub species such as Streak-headed and Cocoa Woodcreepers, Jet Antbird, and the endemic Apical Flycatcher. We had good views of all of them. Common Potoo and Common Nighthawk roosting at daytime, Spectacled Parrotlet, and Spot-breasted Woodpecker also allowed nice views. A final look at the lakeshore provided a few shorebirds, including Greater and Lesser Yellowlegs, Pectoral Sandpiper, and a brief view of Wilson’s Snipe.
Then we left Sonso and Buga and headed to Calí to the famous Finca Alejandria, where we spent a couple of hours. At the hummingbird feeders of Finca Alejandria we saw Long-tailed Sylph, Bronzy Inca, White-booted Racket-tail, and Blue-headed Sapphire. The latter, in particular, is one of the most–wanted species of Colombia, and we managed to have great views. The tanager feeders provided us with Red-headed Barbet, Black-capped Tanager, Golden Tanager, Golden-naped Tanager, Green Honeycreeper, and the spectacular Multicolored Tanager. After having had great views of this handsome bird we left Alejandria and headed to the town of El Queremal in order to explore the Anchicaya lowlands the next day, our last day of the trip. The Anchicaya road is an old road that used to connect the main port of Buenaventura on the Pacific with Calí and Bogota. The road passes through some nice Chocó forest, and we focused on spending the morning as low as we could go. Unfortunately, the last day of the trip started with some rain, which spoiled our attempt at Slaty-capped Shrike-Vireo, which we heard but could not get visuals of. However, soon the rain stopped, and we were lucky to get a nice flock of birds, including the most-wanted Golden-chested Tanager, Scarlet-and-white Tanager, Emerald Tanager, Grey-and-gold Tanager, Rufous-winged Tanager, Sulphur-rumped Myiobius, Cinnamon Becard, Choco Warbler, Buff-rumped Warbler, Bay Wren, Cerulean Warbler, Pacific Antwren, Dusky-faced Tanager, Tawny-crested Tanager, White-whiskered Hermit, Broad-billed Motmot, Rufous-tailed Jacamar, Spot-crowned Barbet, and Long-tailed Tyrant.
But it started to rain again, so we turned back to Calí but made a short stop at Doña Dora’s feeders, where we saw another White-whiskered Hermit, Empress Brilliant, and other old friends and the usual suspects, but, surprisingly, not Toucan Barbet, which is relatively common at these feeders. We drove straight to our hotel in Calí and arrived with enough time for one of our participants to use the hotel facilities to take a shower and get ready for the international flight. We all went to the Calí airport, and after our participant had the boarding pass we said goodbye, with the promise that we would have more adventures together. It is always sad to bid farewell when you have the luck to have incredible people on your tours. The rest of us went back to the hotel late in the afternoon to have our official last meal with our driver and friend Giancarlo. It was a nice dinner, followed by another sad goodbye, but again with the wish that at some time we would be hitting the road again, looking for birds!
SYSTEMATIC LIST (IOC 8.1)
Little Tinamou (H) Crypturellus soui We heard this Tinamou on the lowest part of the Anchicaya road.
Fulvous Whistling Duck Dendrocygna bicolor Seen at Sonso Lake
Black-bellied Whistling Duck Dendrocygna autumnalis Good views at the Barranquilla marshes and Sonso Lake
Torrent Duck Merganetta armata A male was seen along the Otún River.
Comb Duck Sarkidiornis sylvicola Good views of a male in flight at Sonso Lake
Blue-winged Teal Spatula discors Perhaps the most common duck in Colombia at this time of year. Seen at the Barranquilla marshes and Sonso Lake
Andean Duck Oxyura ferruginea Seen at the lake below Los Nevados National Natural Park
Chestnut-winged Chachalaca Ortalis garrula Great views around the campus of Barranquilla’s North University. A country endemic
Band-tailed Guan Penelope argyrotis Daily views at El Dorado Lodge. Here the subspecies colombiana. Found only in Colombia and Venezuela
Andean Guan Penelope montagnii Seen at Rio Blanco
Cauca Guan Penelope perspicax Despite the rain we got good scope views of this species at Otún Quimbaya. A country endemic. The species is classified as Endangered.
Sickle-winged Guan Chamaepetes goudotii The subspecies sanctaemarthae was seen at El Dorado Lodge and the nominate subspecies at Rio Blanco.
Crested Bobwhite Colinus cristatus Seen in La Guajira
Chestnut Wood Quail Odontophorus hyperythrus Decent views of at least three birds in the Montezuma forest. A country endemic. The species is classified as Near-threatened.
American White Ibis Eudocimus albus Seen at Camarones
Scarlet Ibis x American White Ibis Eudocimus ruber x E. albus A hybrid was seen at Camarones.
Bare-faced Ibis Phimosus infuscatus The most common ibis in Colombia. Widespread
Glossy Ibis Plegadis falcinellus One was seen in the Barranquilla marshes, and we had another great view at Sonso Lake. The species is a vagrant in Colombia.
Buff-necked Ibis (H) Theristicus caudatus Only heard at Sonso Lake
Roseate Spoonbill Platalea ajaja Seen at Camarones
Rufescent Tiger Heron Tigrisoma fasciatum A juvenile was seen in the Barranquilla marshes.
Fasciated Tiger Heron Tigrisoma fasciatum Seen along the Anchicaya River
Black-crowned Night Heron Nycticorax nycticorax Seen in the Barranquilla marshes
Striated Heron Butorides striata Seen in the Barranquilla marshes
Western Cattle Egret Bubulcus ibis Widespread
Cocoi Heron Ardea cocoi Seen at Sonso Lake
Great Egret Ardea alba Several sightings throughout the trip
Reddish Egret Egretta rufescens Only one sighting at Camarones. The species is classified as Near-threatened.
Little Blue Heron Egretta caerulea Seen at Camarones
Snowy Egret Egretta thula Several sightings throughout the trip
Brown Pelican Pelecanus occidentalis Quite a few on the way to Santa Marta and at Camarones
Magnificent Frigatebird Fregata magnificens Quite a few on the way to Santa Marta
Neotropic Cormorant Phalacrocorax brasilianus Common
Turkey Vulture Cathartes aura Common
Black Vulture Coragyps atratus Common
Andean Condor Vultur gryphus Nice views of one individual soaring above the Nevado Del Ruiz snow-capped mountain. The species is classified as Near-threatened.
Western Osprey Pandion haliaetus Great views at Sonso Lake
Swallow-tailed Kite Elanoides forficatus Beautiful views above the Montezuma ridge
Pearl Kite Gampsonyx swainsonii Seen in La Guajira
Snail Kite Rostrhamus sociabilis Nice views at Sonso Lake
Barred Hawk Morphnarchus princeps One seen above the Montezuma ridge.
Roadside Hawk Rupornis magnirostris Seen at Otún Quimbaya
Harris’s Hawk Parabuteo unicinctus Only one sighting on the trip
Black-chested Buzzard-Eagle Geranoaetus melanoleucus Nice views at Los Nevados National Natural Park
Broad-winged Hawk Buteo platypterus One of the most frequently encountered raptors in Colombia at this time of year
Short-tailed Hawk Buteo brachyurus Seen on the way to La Guajira
Purple Gallinule Porphyrio martinica Seen at Sonso Lake
Common Gallinule Gallinula galeata Seen at Sonso Lake
Limpkin Aramus guarauna Seen in the Barranquilla marshes and at Sonso Lake
Double-striped Thick-knee Burhinus bistriatus Great views at its classic place on the way to Riohacha
American Oystercatcher Haematopus palliatus Seen at Camarones
Black-necked Stilt Himantopus mexicanus Seen in the Barranquilla marshes
Southern Lapwing Vanellus chilensis Widespread
Wattled Jacana Jacana jacana Seen in the Barranquilla marshes and at Sonso Lake
Wilson’s Snipe Gallinago delicata Brief views of one bird flushed at Sonso Lake
Whimbrel Numenius phaeopus One seen at Camarones
Spotted Sandpiper Actitis macularius A couple of encounters on the trip
Pectoral Sandpiper Calidris melanotos Several seen around Sonso Lake
Solitary Sandpiper Tringa solitaria Seen at the Barranquilla marshes
Greater Yellowlegs Tringa melanoleuca Seen at Sonso Lake
Lesser Yellowlegs Tringa flavipes Seen at Sonso Lake
Royal Tern Thalasseus maximus Seen at Camarones
Cabot’s Tern Thalasseus acuflavidus Seen at Camarones
Caspian Tern Hydroprogne caspia Seen at Camarones
Common Tern Sterna hirundo Seen at Camarones
Rock Pigeon Columba livia Common
Scaled Pigeon Patagioenas speciosa Seen below El Dorado Lodge
Bare-eyed Pigeon Patagioenas corensis Great views in La Guajira. Found only in Colombia and Venezuela but with a population also in the Netherlands Antilles
Pale-vented Pigeon Patagioenas cayennensis Seen at Sonso Lake
Plumbeous Pigeon (H) Patagioenas plumbea Heard only at Montezuma
Band-tailed Pigeon Patagioenas fasciata Seen at the San Lorenzo Ridge above El Dorado Lodge
Scaled Dove Columbina squammata Seen in La Guajira
Common Ground Dove Columbina passerina Seen in La Guajira
Ruddy Ground Dove Columbina talpacoti Seen in the Cauca Valley, including at our hotel in Buga
White-tipped Dove Leptotila verreauxi Several sightings at different locations
Lined Quail-Dove Zentrygon linearis Great views at El Dorado Lodge. Here the nominate subspecies
White-throated Quail-Dove Zentrygon frenata Just a at Otún Quimbaya
Eared Dove Zenaida auriculata Several sightings throughout the trip
Greater Ani Crotophaga major Seen at Sonso Lake
Groove-billed Ani Crotophaga sulcirostris Seen in the Caribbean lowlands
Smooth-billed Ani Crotophaga ani Seen at Sonso Lake and in the Cauca Valley
Striped Cuckoo Tapera naevia Great views at Sonso Lake
Squirrel Cuckoo Piaya cayana Seen at Finca Alejandria
Santa Marta Screech Owl Megascops gilesi Stunning views of one bird above El Dorado Lodge. This was probably the favorite bird of the trip. Not only is it a poorly-known endemic species but also because we had to work under very strong windy conditions, but even so our efforts were reward with such great views. A country endemic. Recently described and accepted by most authorities including IOC but not yet included in the updated IOC 8.1 list. Its status has not yet been assessed by IUCN, but it is probably critically endangered.
Tropical Screech Owl Megascops choliba Crippling views of a young bird roosting at daytime at Montezuma
White-throated Screech Owl Megascops albogularis Great views of one individual at Rio Blanco
Colombian Screech Owl (H) Megascops colombianus Unfortunately heard only this time. Even Though we tried hard, the sudden rain spoiled any chances at Montezuma. Found only in Colombia and Ecuador. The species is classified as Near-threatened.
Cloud-forest Pygmy Owl (H) Glaucidium nubicola Heard distantly at Montezuma. The species is classified as Vulnerable. Found only in Colombia and Ecuador
Common Potoo Nyctibius griseus Two sightings at daytime at Sonso Lake
Common Nighthawk Chordeiles minor Seen roosting at daytime at Sonso Lake
Rufous-bellied Nighthawk Lurocalis rufiventris Seen at Rio Blanco before dusk
Band-winged Nightjar Systellura longirostris Poor views of one individual at Rio Blanco
Chestnut-collared Swift Streptoprocne rutila Only one encounter on the trip
White-collared Swift Streptoprocne zonaris The most frequently encountered swift on the trip
Green Hermit Phaethornis guy Seen at Finca Alejandria
White-whiskered Hermit Phaethornis yaruqui Seen well at Doña Dora’s feeders. Found only in Colombia and Ecuador
Tawny-bellied Hermit Phaethornis syrmatophorus Seen at the Montezuma feeders
Green-fronted Lancebill Doryfera ludovicae Seen at Montezuma
White-necked Jacobin Florisuga mellivora Seen at several hummingbird feeders throughout the trip
Brown Violetear Colibri delphinae Seen at the El Dorado Lodge feeders and at Finca Alejandria
Lesser Violetear Colibri cyanotus Seen well at El Dorado Lodge and Rio Blanco
Black-throated Mango Anthracothorax nigricollis Seen at Minca and Finca Alejandria
Western Emerald Chlorostilbon melanorhynchus Seen in the Montezuma Eco-Lodge gardens. Found only in Ecuador and Colombia
Crowned Woodnymph Thalurania colombica We saw the subspecies colombica at the El Dorado Lodge feeders with the violet crown and the fannyae subspecies at Montezuma Eco-Lodge with the green crown.
Sapphire-bellied Hummingbird Lepidopyga lilliae Great views at Isla Salamanca. A country endemic. The species is classified as Critically Endangered.
Blue-headed Sapphire Hylocharis grayi Seen well at Finca Alejandria. Found only in Ecuador and Colombia
Rufous-tailed Hummingbird Amazilia tzacatl One of the most widespread species, seen at several locations
Andean Emerald Amazilia franciae Seen at Montezuma Eco-Lodge
Steely-vented Hummingbird Amazilia saucerottei Seen at Finca Alejandria, Montezuma Eco-Lodge, and Minca
White-vented Plumeleteer Chalybura buffonii Seen at the feeders of the Minca hotel
Speckled Hummingbird Adelomyia melanogenys Seen at Rio Blanco
Fawn-breasted Brilliant Heliodoxa rubinoides Seen at Finca Alejandria and Rio Blanco
Green-crowned Brilliant Heliodoxa jacula Seen at Montezuma Eco-Lodge
Empress Brilliant Heliodoxa imperatrix Excellent views at Montezuma Eco-Lodge and at Doña Dora’s feeders. Found only in Colombia and Ecuador
White-tailed Hillstar Urochroa bougueri Seen at Montezuma Eco-Lodge and Doña Dora’s feeders.
Buff-tailed Coronet Boissonneaua flavescens Seen at Finca Alejandria and Rio Blanco
Velvet-purple Coronet Boissonneaua jardini One of the most stunning hummingbirds of the trip. Found only in Colombia and Ecuador
Shining Sunbeam Aglaeactis cupripennis Close-up views at the feeders of the hotel Termales Del Ruiz
Mountain Velvetbreast Lafresnaya lafresnayi Seen at the feeders of the Hotel Termales Del Ruiz
Bronzy Inca Coeligena coeligena Seen at Finca Alejandria and Rio Blanco
Brown Inca Coeligena wilsoni Seen at the feeders below the Montezuma ridge. Found only in Colombia and Ecuador
Collared Inca Coeligena torquata Several sightings, especially at Rio Blanco
White-tailed Starfrontlet Coeligena phalerata Stunning views of a male at El Dorado Lodge feeders. On this trip it was seen almost throughout the day, while it had been completely absent during our previous trip only a month ago. A country endemic.
Buff-winged Starfrontlet Coeligena lutetiae Seen at the feeders of the Hotel Termales Del Ruiz
Dusky Starfrontlet Coeligena orina Incredible views at the feeders below the Montezuma ridge. Recorded and documented for this location only on our previous 2018 trip. A country endemic. The species is classified as Critically Endangered.
Great Sapphirewing Pterophanes cyanopterus Seen well at Hotel Termales Del Ruiz
Tourmaline Sunangel Heliangelus exortis Seen at Rio Blanco. Found only in Colombia and Ecuador
Golden-breasted Puffleg Eriocnemis mosquera Seen well at the Hotel Termales Del Ruiz feeders. Found only in Colombia and Ecuador
Black-thighed Puffleg Eriocnemis derbyi Seen well at the Hotel Termales Del Ruiz feeders, where it is present but not abundant. Found only in Colombia and Ecuador
Greenish Puffleg Haplophaedia aureliae Seen at the feeders below the Montezuma ridge
White-booted Racket-tail Ocreatus underwoodii Seen at Finca Alejandria. This is the result of the recent split of Booted Racket-tail Ocreatus underwoodii. The split is as follows:
*White-booted Racket-tail Ocreatus underwoodii From Venezuela to Colombia and W Ecuador
*Peruvian Racket-tail Ocreatus peruanus From E Ecuador to NE Peru
*Rufous-booted Racket-tail Ocreatus addae From C Peru to Bolivia
Buffy Helmetcrest Oxypogon stuebelii What an incredible view at Los Nevados National Natural Park! This meant a lot to me, considering that we looked hard for it in the morning in the most beautiful possible weather only to find it on the drizzling and windy afternoon. A country endemic. The species is classified as Vulnerable.
Tyrian Metaltail Metallura tyrianthina Only one encounter on the trip. Tyrian purple (Greek, porphyra, Latin purpura), also known as Tyrian red, Phoenician purple, royal purple, imperial purple or imperial dye, is a reddish-purple natural dye. It is a secretion produced by several species of predatory sea snails in the family Muricidae, rock snails originally known by the name Murex. In ancient times, extracting this dye involved tens of thousands of snails and substantial labor, and as a result the dye was highly valued.
Viridian Metaltail Metallura williami Seen at the feeders of the Hotel Termales Del Ruiz Rainbow-bearded Thornbill Chalcostigma herrani Brief views of this handsome species at the feeders of the Hotel Termales Del Ruiz
Long-tailed Sylph Aglaiocercus kingii Seen at Finca Alejandria and Rio Blanco
Violet-tailed Sylph Aglaiocercus coelestis Splendid views at Montezuma Eco-Lodge and Doña Dora’s hummingbird feeders
White-throated Wedgebill Schistes albogularis Seen at Otún Quimbaya. White-throated Wedgebill is split from Geoffroy’s Wedgebill, a.k.a. Wedge-billed Hummingbird (HBW Alive, Donegan et al 2015). Found only in Colombia and Ecuador
Purple-throated Woodstar Calliphlox mitchellii Seen at Finca Alejandria and Montezuma Eco-Lodge
White-bellied Woodstar Chaetocercus mulsant Seen at Rio Blanco
Santa Marta Woodstar Chaetocercus astreans Seen below El Dorado Lodge. A country endemic
Golden-headed Quetzal Pharomachrus auriceps Brief views through the mist at Cajones in the Tatamá National Park
Crested Quetzal Pharomachrus antisianus Amazing views of one individual at Cajones in the Tatamá National Park
White-tipped Quetzal Pharomachrus fulgidus Seen at El Dorado Lodge. Found only in Venezuela and Colombia, where it is restricted to the Santa Marta and Períja Mountains.
Masked Trogon Trogon personatus Seen at Rio Blanco
Collared Trogon Trogon collaris Seen at Otún Quimbaya
Green Kingfisher Chloroceryle americana Seen at Sonso Lake
Amazon Kingfisher Chloroceryle amazona Seen at Sonso Lake
Ringed Kingfisher Megaceryle torquata Seen in the Barranquilla marshes and at Sonso Lake
Whooping Motmot Momotus subrufescens Seen at the Hotel Minca La Casona
Andean Motmot Momotus aequatorialis Seen at Otún Quimbaya and Montezuma Eco-Lodge
Broad-billed Motmot Electron platyrhynchum Great views in the lower Anchicaya road
Rufous-tailed Jacamar Galbula ruficauda Seen at Minca and in La Guajira
Russet-throated Puffbird Hypnelus ruficollis Seen in La Guajira. Found only in Colombia and Venezuela
Red-headed Barbet Eubucco bourcierii Close-up views at Finca Alejandria
Spot-crowned Barbet Capito maculicoronatus Nice views along the Anchicaya road. Found only in Colombia and Panama
Toucan Barbet (H) Semnornis ramphastinus We heard it at Cajones in the Tatamá National Park. Surprisingly, it was not present at Doña Dora’s feeders, where we saw it a month ago on the previous trip. Found only in Colombia and Ecuador. The species is classified as Near-threatened.
White-throated Toucanet Aulacorhynchus albivitta Good views of the subspecies lautus at El Dorado Lodge. This subspecies was split several years ago into Santa Marta Toucanet, but lumped back recently into White-throated Toucanet Aulacorhynchus albivitta.
Groove-billed Toucanet Aulacorhynchus sulcatus Great views below El Dorado Lodge. Here the subspecies calorhynchus. Found only in Colombia and Venezuela
Black-billed Mountain Toucan Andigena nigrirostris An incredible encounter with two individuals below the Hotel Termales Del Ruiz
Keel-billed Toucan (H) Rhamphastos sulfuratus Heard only above Minca
Yellow-throated Toucan (H) Ramphastos ambiguus We heard this species along the Anchicaya road. The species is classified as Near-threatened.
Chestnut Piculet Picumnus cinnamomeus One of the most handsome piculets, seen nicely in La Guajira. Found only in Colombia and Venezuela
Greyish Piculet Picumnus granadensis Great views at the Montezuma Eco-Lodge. A country endemic.
Red-crowned Woodpecker Melanerpes rubricapillus Common at several locations
Smoky-brown Woodpecker Leuconotopicus fumigatus Seen in Cajones in the Tatamá National Park
Yellow-vented Woodpecker Veniliornis dignus A spectacular encounter with is uncommon species at Cajones in the Tatamá National Park
Spot-breasted Woodpecker Colaptes punctigula Seen at Sonso Lake
Crimson-mantled Woodpecker Colaptes rivolii Seen below the Montezuma ridge
Lineated Woodpecker Dryocopus lineatus A few sightings on the trip
Crimson-crested Woodpecker Campephilus melanoleucos Only one encounter in the Cauca Valley
Northern Crested Caracara Caracara cheriway Common at several locations
Yellow-headed Caracara Milvago chimachima Common at several locations
Laughing Falcon (H) Herpetotheres cachinnans Heard at Minca
Barred Forest Falcon (H) Micrastur ruficollis Heard only
Military Macaw Ara militaris Scope views of some distant individuals below Minca. The species is classified as Vulnerable.
Brown-throated Parakeet Eupsittula pertinax Seen on the way to La Guajira
Scarlet-fronted Parakeet Psittacara wagleri Seen at the San Lorenzo ridge above El Dorado Lodge. Here the nominate subspecies. The species is classified as Near-threatened.
Santa Marta Parakeet Pyrrhura viridicata Nice views of four individuals flying at eye level at the San Lorenzo ridge. A country endemic. The species is classified as Endangered.
Spectacled Parrotlet Forpus conspicillatus Common at Sonso Lake.
Orange-chinned Parakeet Brotogeris jugularis Common below Minca, where we had good views
Barred Parakeet Bolborhynchus lineola Distant fly-by views of a flock below the Montezuma ridge
Blue-headed Parrot Pionus menstruus Seen around Sonso Lake
White-capped Parrot Pionus seniloides Excellent views at Rio Blanco
Bronze-winged Parrot Pionus chalcopterus Fly-by views at Otún Quimbaya
Scaly-naped Amazon Amazona mercenarius Seen below the Montezuma ridge
Yellow-crowned Amazon Amazona ochrocephala Seen in the garden of our hotel in Buga
Stout-billed Cinclodes Cinclodes excelsior Seen at Los Nevados National Natural Park. Found only in Colombia and Ecuador
Caribbean Hornero Furnarius longirostris Seen in the dry scrub of La Guajira
Andean Tit-Spinetail Leptasthenura andicola Two individuals were seen well at Los Nevados National Natural Park
White-whiskered Spinetail Synallaxis candei Great views of this distinctive spinetail in the dry habitat of La Guajira. Found only in Colombia and Venezuela
White-browed Spinetail Hellmayrea gularis A nice encounter with one bird below Hotel Termales del Ruiz
Rufous Spinetail Synallaxis unirufa Seen at the top of ridge in Montezuma
Rusty-headed Spinetail (H) Synallaxis fuscorufa Sadly it did not come show for us. A country endemic. The species is classified as Vulnerable.
Streak-capped Spinetail Cranioleuca hellmayri Seen at the San Lorenzo Ridge above El Dorado Lodge.
Azara’s Spinetail Synallaxis azarae Seen at Rio Blanco
Yellow-chinned Spinetail Certhiaxis cinnamomeus Seen in the Barranquilla marshes
Red-faced Spinetail Cranioleuca erythrops Seen at mid-elevations along the Montezuma road
Pearled Treerunner Margarornis squamiger Seen at Rio Blanco
Streaked Tuftedcheek Pseudocolaptes boissonneautii Seen at Rio Blanco
Pacific Tuftedcheek Pseudocolaptes johnsoni Seen at mid-elevation along the Montezuma road. Found only in Colombia and Ecuador.
Scaly-throated Foliage-gleaner Anabacerthia variegaticeps Seen at Cajones in the Tatamá National Park
Montane Foliage-gleaner Anabacerthia striaticollis Seen at El Dorado Lodge
Buff-fronted Foliage-gleaner Philydor rufum Seen at Cajones in the Tatamá National Park
Santa Marta Foliage-gleaner Automolus rufipectus Great views at mid-elevations in the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta. A country endemic restricted to the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta. The species is classified as Near-threatened.
Lineated Foliage-gleaner Syndactyla subalaris Seen at Cajones in the Tatamá National Park
Uniform Treehunter Thripadectes ignobilis Seen at Cajones in the Tatamá National Park
Streak-capped Treehunter Thripadectes virgaticeps Seen at Otún Quimbaya
Flammulated Treehunter Thripadectes flammulatus Seen at Rio Blanco and Santa Marta, both the nominate subspecies
Streaked Xenops Xenops rutilans Seen at Otún Quimbaya
Grey-throated Leaftosser Sclerurus albigularis Seen at El Dorado Lodge. The species is classified as Near-threatened.
Tyrannine Woodcreeper Dendrocincla tyrannina Wonderful views before dusk at Rio Blanco
Wedge-billed Woodcreeper Glyphorynchus spirurus Seen at Anchicaya
Strong-billed Woodcreeper Xiphocolaptes promeropirhynchus Seen at Rio Blanco and Otún Quimbaya
Straight-billed Woodcreeper Dendroplex picus Seen at La Guajira
Cocoa Woodcreeper Xiphorhynchus susurrans Seen at Sonso Lake
Streak-headed Woodcreeper Lepidocolaptes souleyetii Seen at Sonso Lake
Montane Woodcreeper Lepidocolaptes lacrymiger Seen at Rio Blanco
Black-crested Antshrike Sakesphorus canadensis Seen in La Guajira, where we saw the subspecies pulchellus
Black-backed Antshrike Thamnophilus melanonotus Seen in La Guajira. Found only in Colombia and Venezuela
Uniform Antshrike Thamnophilus unicolor Seen well below Cajones in the Tatamá National Park
Plain Antvireo Dysithamnus mentalis Seen above Montezuma Eco-Lodge in the lower parts
Pacific Antwren Myrmotherula pacifica Seen in Anchicaya
Northern White-fringed Antwren Formicivora intermedia Nice views in La Guajira. Found only in Colombia and Venezuela
Slaty Antwren Myrmotherula schisticolor Seen at Otún Quimbaya
Rufous-rumped Antwren Euchrepomis callinota One seen well below Cajones in the Tatamá National Park
Santa Marta Antbird Drymophila hellmayri Seen below El Dorado Lodge. A country endemic. The species is classified as Near-threatened.
Streak-headed Antbird Drymophila striaticeps Seen at Rio Blanco
Jet Antbird Cercomacra nigricans Seen at Sonso Lake
Parker’s Antbird Cercomacra parkeri Seen in the lower parts of Montezuma and Otún Quimbaya. A country endemic. Named after Theodore Albert “Ted” Parker III (April 1, 1953 – August 3, 1993), an American ornithologist who specialized in the Neotropics. He was widely considered the finest field birder of recent times. He died tragically on a plane crash in Ecuador together with Alwyn Gentry, one of the top botanists in the Neotropics.
Zeledon’s Antbird Hafferia zeledoni Seen in the lower parts of the Anchicaya road. Named after Jose C. Zeledon (1846-1923), Costa Rican naturalist and collector.
Yellow-breasted Antpitta (H) Grallaria flavotincta Heard at Cajones in the Tatamá National Park
Chestnut-crowned Antpitta Grallaria ruficapilla Fantastic views at Rio Blanco
Santa Marta Antpitta Grallaria bangsi Good views at the San Lorenzo Biological Station feeders. A country endemic restricted to the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta. The species is classified as Vulnerable.
Brown-banded Antpitta Grallaria milleri Close-up views of this antpitta at the worm feeders of Rio Blanco. A country endemic. The species is classified as Vulnerable.
Tawny Antpitta Grallaria quitensis Seen at Los Nevados National Natural Park
Bicolored Antpitta Grallaria rufocinerea Seen at Rio Blanco, where we had splendid views Found only in Colombia and Ecuador. The species is classified as Vulnerable.
Slate-crowned Antpitta Grallaricula nana We had nice views at Rio Blanco.
Ocellated Tapaculo Acropternis orthonyx Our efforts were rewarded with short but excellent views of one of the most sought-after birds of South America. Seen at Rio Blanco
Tatama Tapaculo Scytalopus alvarezlopezi Seen at Montezuma. Described in April 2017. Its English name used to be Alto Pisones Tapaculo before its official description. A country endemic. Named after the Tatamá National Park
Santa Marta Tapaculo Scytalopus sanctaemartae Seen below El Dorado Lodge. A country endemic
Choco Tapaculo Scytalopus chocoensis Good views in the lower parts of Montezuma. Named after the Colombian department of Chocó and the Chocó bioregion from the Panamanian Darién to the Pacific Colombian coast to Southwest Ecuador
Narino Tapaculo Scytalopus vicinior Seen at Montezuma. Named after the Colombian department of Nariño
Stiles’s Tapaculo Scytalopus stilesi Brief views at Otún Quimbaya and La Romera. A country endemic. Named after Gary Stiles, an American ornithologist and author of A Guide to the Birds of Costa Rica
Spillmann’s Tapaculo Scytalopus spillmanni Amazingly, we got good views of this well-known skulker at Rio Blanco. Named after F. Spillmann, 1925 Austrian zoologist resident in Ecuador
Brown-rumped Tapaculo (H) Scytalopus latebricola Unfortunately, it disappeared between leaves at the San Lorenzo Ridge in the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta. A country endemic
Blackish Tapaculo (H) Scytalopus latrans Heard at Rio Blanco
Sooty-headed Tyrannulet Phyllomyias griseiceps Seen at Otún Quimbaya
Mountain Elaenia Elaenia frantzii Good views below El Dorado Lodge. Here the subspecies browni
White-throated Tyrannulet Mecocerculus leucophrys Seen at Rio Blanco and Santa Marta
White-tailed Tyrannulet Mecocerculus poecilocercus Seen at Rio Blanco
White-banded Tyrannulet Mecocerculus stictopterus Seen at Rio Blanco
Torrent Tyrannulet Serpophaga cinerea Seen at Otún Quimbaya
Rufous-breasted Flycatcher Leptopogon rufipectus Seen at Otún Quimbaya
Slender-billed Inezia Inezia tenuirostris Seen in La Guajira. Found only in Colombia and Venezuela
Coopman’s Tyrannulet Zimmerius minimus Seen above Minca
Golden-faced Tyrannulet Zimmerius chrysops Seen at Otún Quimbaya and Montezuma
Marble-faced Bristle Tyrant Pogonotriccus ophthalmicus Seen at Montezuma
Ochre-bellied Flycatcher Mionectes oleagineus Only one sighting on the trip
Northern Scrub Flycatcher Sublegatus arenarum Seen in La Guajira
Handsome Flycatcher Nephelomyias pulcher Common at mid-elevations in Montezuma
Ornate Flycatcher Myiotriccus ornatus Seen at Montezuma
Pearly-vented Tody Tyrant Hemitriccus margaritaceiventer Brief views at La Guajira
Black-throated Tody-Tyrant Hemitriccus granadensis Seen at El Dorado Lodge
Pale-eyed Pygmy-Tyrant Atalotriccus pilaris Nice views below Minca
Rufous-crowned Tody-Flycatcher Poecilotriccus ruficeps Nice views at Rio Blanco
Common Tody-Flycatcher Todirostrum cinereum Several sightings
Cinnamon Flycatcher Pyrrhomyias cinnamomeus Seen at several locations
Black Phoebe Sayornis nigricans Several sightings throughout the trip
Smoke-colored Pewee Contopus fumigatus Seen at Rio Blanco and Montezuma
Western Wood Pewee Contopus sordidulus Seen above Minca
Vermilion Flycatcher Pyrocephalus obscurus Seen in Buga. According to IOC (Carmi et al. 2016), Vermilion Flycatcher Pyrocephalus rubinus have been split as follows:
* Scarlet Flycatcher Pyrocephalus rubinus SE Bolivia, Brazil, Paraguay and Uruguay
* Vermilion Flycatcher Pyrocephalus obscurus SW USA to N Chile
* Darwin’s Flycatcher Pyrocephalus nanus Galapagos islands (except San Cristobal island)
* San Cristobal Flycatcher Pyrocephalus dubius San Cristobal Island (Galapagos) [Today extinct]
Paramo Ground Tyrant Muscisaxicola alpinus Seen well below Los Nevados National Natural Park. Here the subspecies quesadae. Found only in Colombia and Ecuador
Smoky Bush Tyrant Myiotheretes fumigatus Scope views at the top of the ridge at Montezuma
Flavescent Flycatcher Myiophobus flavicans Seen at Montezuma
Pied Water Tyrant Fluvicola pica Seen in the Barranquilla marshes
White-headed Marsh Tyrant Arundinicola leucocephala Seen in the Barranquilla marshes
Yellow-bellied Chat-Tyrant Silvicultrix diadema Seen below the Montezuma ridge
Brown-backed Chat-Tyrant Ochthoeca fumicolor Seen at Los Nevados National Natural Park
Long-tailed Tyrant Colonia colonus Seen at the lower Anchicaya road
Cattle Tyrant Machetornis rixosa Seen in our hotel in Buga
Rusty-margined Flycatcher Myiozetetes cayanensis Common around Sonso Lake
Great Kiskadee Pitangus sulphuratus Common at several locations
Golden-crowned Flycatcher Myiodynastes chrysocephalus Seen at Montezuma
Streaked Flycatcher Myiodynastes maculatus Quite a few sightings, including Minca and Sonso Lake
Boat-billed Flycatcher Megarynchus pitangua Seen below Minca
Tropical Kingbird Tyrannus melancholicus Common
Fork-tailed Flycatcher Tyrannus savana Seen on the way to Buga
Grey Kingbird Tyrannus dominicensis Seen at Sonso Lake
Dusky-capped Flycatcher Myiarchus tuberculifer Seen at Montezuma
Apical Flycatcher Myiarchus apicalis Great views at Sonso Lake, where we saw three different individuals. A country endemic.
Pale-edged Flycatcher Myiarchus cephalotes Seen at Rio Blanco
Brown-crested Flycatcher Myiarchus tyrannulus Seen above Minca
Venezuelan Flycatcher Myiarchus venezuelensis Seen in La Guajira. Found only in Colombia and Venezuela
Bright-rumped Attila (H) Attila spadiceus Heard only in Minca
Green-and-black Fruiteater Pipreola riefferii Seen at Rio Blanco
Golden-breasted Fruiteater Pipreola aureopectus Seen around El Dorado Lodge. Found only in Colombia and Venezuela
Orange-breasted Fruiteater Pipreola jucunda Seen at Montezuma. Found only in Colombia and Ecuador
Barred Fruiteater Pipreola arcuata Seen well below Hotel Termales Del Ruiz
Scaled Fruiteater Ampelioides tschudii Scope views of this elusive species below Cajones in the Tatamá National Park
Olivaceous Piha Snowornis cryptolophus Good views below Cajones
Dusky Piha Lipaugus fuscocinereus Good views at Rio Blanco. Not an easy bird to find and show
Purple-throated Fruitcrow Querula purpurata An unexpected encounter in the lower parts of Montezuma
Red-ruffed Fruitcrow Pyroderus scutatus Good views at Otún Quimbaya
White-bearded Manakin Manacus manacus Seen in Minca
Golden-winged Manakin Masius chrysopterus Seen at Montezuma
Club-winged Manakin Machaeropterus deliciosus Splendid views at Montezuma. Found only in Colombia and Ecuador
Sulphur-rumped Myiobius Myiobius sulphureipygius Seen along the lowest parts of the Anchicaya road.
Barred Becard (H) Pachyramphus versicolor We heard it at Rio Blanco.
White-winged Becard Pachyramphus polychopterus Seen at Montezuma
Cinnamon Becard Pachyramphus cinnamomeus Seen at Anchicaya
Slaty-capped Shrike-Vireo (H) Vireolanius leucotis We heard it at Anchicaya, but the heavy rain spoiled our chances to find it.
Brown-capped Vireo Vireo leucophrys Seen at Rio Blanco
Rufous-naped Greenlet Hylophilus semibrunneus Seen at Otún Quimbaya
Yellow-green Vireo Vireo flavoviridis One seen above Minca
Choco Vireo Vireo masteri Great views at Montezuma. Found only in Colombia and Ecuador. The species is classified as Endangered.
Beautiful Jay Cyanolyca pulchra Great views of two birds at Cajones in the Tatamá National Park. Found only in Colombia and Ecuador. The species is classified as Near-threatened.
Black-chested Jay Cyanocorax affinis Several sightings throughout the trip
Inca Jay Cyanocorax yncas Seen at Otún Quimbaya
Grey-breasted Martin Progne chalybea A few sightings at lower elevations
Blue-and-white Swallow Notiochelidon cyanoleuca Widespread in small numbers
Brown-bellied Swallow Notiochelidon murina Seen below Los Nevados National Natural Park and at the Montezuma ridge
Southern Rough-winged Swallow Stelgidopteryx ruficollis Widespread in good numbers
Barn Swallow Hirundo rustica A few seen on the last day of the tour around Calí airport
Bicolored Wren Campylorhynchus griseus Good views of this large wren around our hotel in Minca
Stripe-backed Wren Campylorhynchus nuchalis Seen well at the Barranquilla marshes. Found only in Colombia and Venezuela
Rufous Wren Cinnycerthia unirufa Nice views along the road below the Hotel Termales Del Ruiz.
Grass Wren Cistothorus platensis Seen at Los Nevados National Natural Park
Sooty-headed Wren Pheugopedius spadix Great views of this skulker along the lowest parts of the Montezuma Road. Found only in Colombia and Panama
Whiskered Wren Pheugopedius mystacalis Seen at Otún Quimbaya
Rufous-breasted Wren Pheugopedius rutilus Seen below El Dorado Lodge
Bay Wren Cantorchilus nigricapillus Seen in the Anchicaya lowlands
Rufous-and-white Wren Thryophilus rufalbus Seen above Minca
House Wren Troglodytes aedon Several sightings throughout the trip
Mountain Wren Troglodytes solstitialis Seen at Rio Blanco
Grey-breasted Wood Wren Henicorhina leucophrys Seen at mid-elevations of the Montezuma road.
Hermit Wood Wren Henicorhina anachoreta Good views at El Dorado Lodge. Hermit/Santa Marta Wood Wren is a split from Grey-breasted Wood Wren Henicorhina leucophrys (Caro et al. 2013, SACC 700). Replaces H. l. bangsi of lower elevations. We also saw the subspecies bangsi, above Minca, which sometimes is treated as a different species. A country endemic. The species is classified as Near-threatened.
Munchique Wood Wren Henicorhina negreti Great views at the top of the ridge in Montezuma. A country endemic. The species is classified as Critically Endangered. Described only in 2003. Named after the Munchique massif and National Natural Park in the Western Andes of the Cauca department
Southern Nightingale-Wren (H) Microcerculus marginatus Heard in the lower parts of the Anchicaya road
Tropical Gnatcatcher Polioptila plumbea Seen in La Guajira
Tropical Mockingbird Mimus gilvus Seen in La Guajira
Slaty-backed Nightingale-Thrush Catharus fuscater Great views at El Dorado Lodge
Andean Solitaire Myadestes ralloides Seen at Rio Blanco
Black Solitaire Entomodestes coracinus Brief views at Montezuma. Found only in Colombia and Ecuador
Clay-colored Thrush Turdus grayi Seen above Minca. The national bird of Costa Rica
Swainson’s Thrush Catharus ustulatus Seen at Otún Quimbaya. Named after William John Swainson, 19th century English ornithologist, malacologist, conchologist, entomologist and artist.
Yellow-legged Thrush Turdus flavipes Seen below El Dorado Lodge in the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta
Great Thrush Turdus fuscater Seen at the top of the Montezuma ridge
Glossy-black Thrush Turdus serranus Only one bird was seen at Rio Blanco
Pale-breasted Thrush Turdus leucomelas Seen around Minca, including at the hotel feeder
Black-billed Thrush Turdus ignobilis Widespread
Black-hooded Thrush Turdus olivater Seen at the El Dorado Lodge compost
White-necked Thrush Turdus albicollis Brief views between Minca and the Y road junction
White-capped Dipper Cinclus leucocephalus Nice views at the Otún River and at Rio Blanco
House Sparrow Passer domesticus
Lesser Goldfinch Spinus psaltria Seen at Otún Quimbaya
Yellow-bellied Siskin Spinus xanthogastrus Seen at Rio Blanco
Orange-bellied Euphonia Euphonia xanthogaster Widespread
Thick-billed Euphonia Euphonia laniirostris Several sightings on the trip
Orange-crowned Euphonia Euphonia saturata Seen at Sonso Lake
Blue-naped Chlorophonia Chlorophonia cyanea Seen at the feeders of El Dorado Lodge
Chestnut-breasted Chlorophonia Chlorophonia pyrrhophrys Incredible views at Montezuma Passerellidae Separate New World Sparrows from Old World Buntings into new family Passerellidae (Barker et al. 2013, 2015; NACC 2017-B-6).
Rufous-collared Sparrow Zonotrichia capensis Seen at Otún Quimbaya
Tocuyo Sparrow Arremonops tocuyensis Wow! It was never as difficult as this time, but after some hard trying we found it in La Guajira. Found only in Colombia and Venezuela. Named after the town of El Tocuyo, Lara, in Venezuela
Golden-winged Sparrow Arremon schlegeli Nice views above Minca
Olive Finch Arremon castaneiceps A reliable pair has been habituated for food leftovers at the bridge along the Montezuma road. Fantastic! The species is classified as Near-threatened.
Sierra Nevada Brushfinch Arremon basilicus Seen at El Dorado Lodge. A country endemic restricted to the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta. The species is classified as Near-threatened.
Santa Marta Brushfinch Atlapetes melanocephalus Common around El Dorado Lodge in the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta. A country endemic
Pale-naped Brushfinch Atlapetes pallidinucha Good views below Hotel Termales del Ruiz
Choco Brushfinch Atlapetes crassus Seen in the Anchicaya lowlands. Found only in Colombia and Ecuador
Slaty Brushfinch Atlapetes schistaceus Seen well below Hotel Termales Del Ruiz
Tanager Finch Oreothraupis arremonops Probably one of the best encounters of the trip. This sought-after species was seen very well at high elevations in Montezuma below the top of the ridge. Found only in Colombia and Ecuador. The species is classified as Vulnerable. Uncertain relationships of Tanager Finch included Cardinalidae and then Thraupidae. Genetic data place it in Passerellidae as sister to Chlorospingus (Barker et al 2013, 2015; also H&M4, HBW). SACC needs proposal.
Dusky Bush Tanager Chlorospingus semifuscus Seen in Montezuma
Chestnut-headed Oropendola Psarocolius wagleri Seen at Montezuma and Anchicaya
Crested Oropendola Psarocolius decumanus Seen below Minca
Russet-backed Oropendola Psarocolius angustifrons Only one sighting on the trip
Yellow Oriole Icterus nigrogularis Seen in La Guajira
Yellow-backed Oriole Icterus chrysater Seen above Minca
Orchard Oriole Icterus spurius Seen at Sonso Lake
Yellow-hooded Blackbird Chrysomus icterocephalus Seen in the Barranquilla marshes
Giant Cowbird Molothrus oryzivorus Seen at Sonso Lake
Shiny Cowbird Molothrus bonariensis Seen at Sonso Lake
Carib Grackle Quiscalus lugubris Only one seen in La Guajira
Great-tailed Grackle Quiscalus mexicanus Common in the Caribbean lowlands
Red-breasted Blackbird Leistes militaris Seen at Sonso Lake
Tennessee Warbler Leiothlypis peregrina Seen above Minca
American Redstart Setophaga ruticilla Seen below El Dorado Lodge
Cerulean Warbler Setophaga cerulea Seen along the Anchicaya Road. The species is classified as Vulnerable.
Tropical Parula Setophaga pitiayumi Seen at Otún Quimbaya
Blackburnian Warbler Setophaga fusca Numerous throughout the trip, even some individual with full plumage
American Yellow Warbler Setophaga aestiva Seen at Sonso Lake
Black-crested Warbler Myiothlypis nigrocristata Seen below Hotel Termales Del Ruiz
Buff-rumped Warbler Myiothlypis fulvicauda Seen along the lower parts of the Anchicaya Road
Santa Marta Warbler Myiothlypis basilica Great views at the San Lorenzo Ridge. A country endemic and restricted to the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta. The species is classified as Vulnerable.
White-lored Warbler Myiothlypis conspicillata Seen around El Dorado Lodge. A country endemic restricted to the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta. The species is classified as Near-threatened.
Russet-crowned Warbler Myiothlypis coronata Seen at Rio Blanco
p views of this handsome species above Minca
Three-striped Warbler Basileuterus tristriatus Seen at Montezuma. The population in SE Peru and Bolivia has been split into Yungas Warbler Basileuterus punctipectus
Citrine Warbler Myiothlypis luteoviridis
Choco Warbler Myiothlypis chlorophrys Seen well in the Anchicaya lowlands. Found only in Colombia and Ecuador
Canada Warbler Cardellina canadensis A nice couple of encounters
Slate-throated Whitestart Myioborus miniatus Seen at several locations
Golden-fronted Whitestart Myioborus ornatus Seen at Rio Blanco. Such a handsome bird!
Yellow-crowned Whitestart Myioborus flavivertex Great views above El Dorado Lodge. A country endemic restricted to the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta.
Mitrospingidae Move Mitrospingus from Thraupidae to new family Mitrospingidae that includes Olive-green Tanager (Orthogonys) and Red-billed Pied Tanager (Lamprospiza). Family follows Parulidae (Barker et al. 2013, NACC 2017-B-6) ENG
Dusky-faced Tanager Mitrospingus cassinii Seen in the Anchicaya lowlands
Summer Tanager Piranga rubra Several seen throughout the trip
Crested Ant Tanager Habia cristata Great views in the lower parts of Montezuma road. In order to have the best view we had to follow the creek trail, which was not easy but fun. A country endemic
Ochre-breasted Tanager Chlorothraupis stolzmanni Seen at the lower parts of the Anchicaya road and Montezuma. Found only in Colombia and Ecuador
Rose-breasted Grosbeak Pheucticus ludovicianus Seen below El Dorado Lodge
Vermilion Cardinal Cardinalis phoeniceus Great views in La Guajira. Found only in Colombia and Venezuela
White-capped Tanager Sericossypha albocristata A splendid encounter at Rio Blanco. The species is classified as Vulnerable.
Black-capped Hemispingus Hemispingus atropileus Seen below Hotel Termales Del Ruiz
Black-eared Hemispingus Hemispingus melanotis Seen at Rio Blanco
Superciliaried Hemispingus Hemispingus superciliaris Seen at Rio Blanco
Oleaginous Hemispingus Hemispingus frontalis Seen at Rio Blanco
Grey-hooded Bush Tanager Cnemoscopus rubrirostris Seen at Rio Blanco
Grey-headed Tanager Eucometis penicillata Seen above Minca
Tawny-crested Tanager Tachyphonus delatrii Seen along the Anchicaya road
White-lined Tanager Tachyphonus rufus Seen at Doña Dora’s feeders in the Anchicaya lowlands
Crimson-backed Tanager Ramphocelus dimidiatus Several sightings throughout the trip
Flame-rumped Tanager Ramphocelus flammigerus Several sightings. A country endemic
Lemon-rumped Tanager Ramphocelus icteronotus Several sighting throughout the trip
Blue-grey Tanager Thraupis episcopus Common
Glaucous Tanager Thraupis glaucocolpa Seen in La Guajira. Found only in Colombia and Venezuela
Palm Tanager Thraupis palmarum Several sightings throughout the trip
Blue-capped Tanager Thraupis cyanocephala Seen at Rio Blanco and Montezuma
Black-and-gold Tanager Bangsia melanochlamys Great views at Montezuma. A country endemic The species is classified as Vulnerable.
Gold-ringed Tanager Bangsia aureocincta A magical in Montezuma. A country endemic. The species is classified as Endangered.
Golden-chested Tanager Bangsia rothschildi Incredible sighting at the lower Anchicaya road. Found only in Colombia and Ecuador
Hooded Mountain Tanager Buthraupis montana Nice views below Hotel Termales Del Ruiz. Here the subspecies cucullata
Santa Marta Mountain Tanager Anisognathus melanogenys Seen at the top of the San Lorenzo Ridge above El Dorado Lodge. A country endemic restricted to the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta
Lacrimose Mountain Tanager Anisognathus lacrymosus Seen at Rio Blanco
Scarlet-bellied Mountain Tanager Anisognathus igniventris Seen at Rio Blanco
Black-chinned Mountain Tanager Anisognathus notabilis Excellent views at Montezuma. Found only in Colombia and Ecuador
Blue-winged Mountain Tanager Anisognathus somptuosus Seen nicely at Finca Alejandria and Rio Blanco
Grass-green Tanager Chlorornis riefferii Seen at Rio Blanco and Montezuma
Buff-breasted Mountain Tanager Dubusia taeniata Seen at Rio Blanco
Purplish-mantled Tanager Iridosornis porphyrocephalus Splendid views at Montezuma. Found only in Colombia and Ecuador. The species is classified as Near-threatened.
Glistening-green Tanager Chlorochrysa phoenicotis A beautiful bird seen at Montezuma. Found only in Colombia and Ecuador
Multicolored Tanager Chlorochrysa nitidissima Amazing views at Finca Alejandria, which is so far the best place in the world to see this gorgeous species. A country endemic. The species is classified as Vulnerable.
Golden Tanager Tangara arthus Seen at Finca Alejandria, Otún Quimbaya and Montezuma
Silver-throated Tanager Tangara icterocephala Seen at Montezuma and Doña Dora’s feeders
Flame-faced Tanager Tangara parzudakii Seen at Cajones in the Tatamá National Park. Here the subspecies lunigera
Bay-headed Tanager Tangara gyrola Seen above Minca and at El Dorado Lodge. Here the subspecies toddi
Rufous-winged Tanager Tangara lavinia Brief views in the Anchicaya lowlands
Scrub Tanager Tangara vitriolina Seen at Finca Alejandria and Montezuma
Blue-necked Tanager Tangara cyanicollis Seen at Otún Quimbaya
Golden-hooded Tanager Tangara larvata Seen at Montezuma and Anchicaya
Beryl-spangled Tanager Tangara nigroviridis Seen at Rio Blanco and below Hotel Termales Del Ruiz
Blue-and-black Tanager Tangara vassorii Seen at Rio Blanco, where it is common
Black-capped Tanager Tangara heinei Seen at Finca Alejandria and El Dorado Lodge
Grey-and-gold Tanager Tangara palmeri Seen at the lower Anchicaya road. Found only in Colombia and Ecuador
Golden-naped Tanager Tangara ruficervix Seen at Sonso Lake
Scarlet-and-white Tanager Chrysothlypis salmoni Incredible views of two individuals in the Anchicaya lowlands. Found only in Colombia and Ecuador
Emerald Tanager Tangara florida Seen at the lower Anchicaya road
Swallow Tanager Tersina viridis Common below Minca
Green Honeycreeper Chlorophanes spiza Common at Finca Alejandria, Montezuma and Doña Dora’s feeders
Golden-collared Honeycreeper Iridophanes pulcherrimus Sadly a female only
Blue-backed Conebill Conirostrum sitticolor Seen below Los Nevados National Natural Park
Capped Conebill Conirostrum albifrons Seen at Rio Blanco. Here the distinctive subspecies centralandium that shows white in the crown
Chestnut-bellied Flowerpiercer Diglossa gloriosissima Great views at the top of the ridge at Montezuma. A country endemic. The species is classified as Endangered.
Indigo Flowerpiercer Diglossa indigotica Seen at mid-elevations along the Montezuma road. Found only in Colombia and Ecuador
Masked Flowerpiercer Diglossa cyanea Several sightings, including Rio Blanco
Bluish Flowerpiercer Diglossa caerulescens Seen at Montezuma
Glossy Flowerpiercer Diglossa lafresnayii Seen in the Hotel Termales Del Ruiz gardens
Black Flowerpiercer Diglossa humeralis Only one sighting below Los Nevados National Natural Park
White-sided Flowerpiercer Diglossa albilatera Several sightings throughout the trip, including El Dorado Lodge
Grey Pileated Finch Coryphospingus pileatus Nice views in La Guajira. Here the subspecies brevicaudus
Plumbeous Sierra Finch Phrygilus unicolor Seen at Los Nevados National Natural Park
Blue-black Grassquit Volatinia jacarina A few sightings on the trip
Plain-colored Seedeater Catamenia inornata Seen at Los Nevados National Natural Park
Black-faced Grassquit Tiaris bicolor Seen in La Guajira
Yellow-bellied Seedeater Sporophila nigricollis Seen at Otún Quimbaya and Montezuma
Thick-billed Seed Finch Oryzoborus funereus Seen above Minca
Saffron Finch Sicalis flaveola Several sightings on the trip
Buff-throated Saltator Saltator maximus Common below Minca
Greyish Saltator Saltator coerulescens Seen in La Guajira
Orinoco Saltator Saltator orenocensis Three birds were seen in La Guajira. Found only in Colombia and Venezuela. Named after the Orinoco River
Black-winged Saltator Saltator atripennis Seen at Montezuma
Masked Saltator Saltator cinctus Seen well at Rio Blanco. A most-wanted species. The species is classified as Near-threatened.
Streaked Saltator Saltator striatipectus Seen around Minca
Bananaquit Coereba flaveola Seen around the Montezuma feeders
Red-tailed Squirrel Sciurus granatensis Several sightings
Western Dwarf Squirrel Microsciurus mimulus Several sightings
Central American Agouti Dasyprocta punctata Seen at El Dorado Lodge and Montezuma Eco-Lodge
Colombian Red Howler Alouatta seniculus Seen at Otún Quimbaya
Crab-eating Fox Cerdocyon thous Seen at El Dorado Lodge around the compost
Long-tailed Weasel Mustela frenata Incredible views of one trying to hunt silently at the El Dorado Lodge compost
Kinkajou Potos flavus Seen at El Dorado Lodge
Common Green Iguana Iguana iguana Seen in the lowlands
Moreau’s Tropical House Gecko Hemidactylus mabouia Common in the tropical lowlands