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Old Tuesday 16th November 2010, 00:59   #1
Globalbirder
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What are the top birding sites in Colombia?

Before I went to Colombia I was frustrated reviewing what sites I had to visit as there is no bird finding guide. I did find several good websites (http://www.birding-colombia.com, http://www.colombiabirding.com and http://www.birdingcolombia.com), but all lacked site maps, good logistical info, etc. I think it would be useful to others planning trips to Colombia to draw up detailed info for the "must visit birding sites" with the most specialist species.

I would be interested if members of the forum could recommend their top five birding sites in Colombia one should/must visit with the highest number of endemics, but also considering birding facilities, e.g. trails, proximity to hotels/lodges, etc.

Based on forum member recommendations, I would like to research all of the sites and provide future visitors with extra information. Thank you.

[This was originally posted on the thread "A tale of ten tapaculos - Colombia 2010", but I was recommended to post as a new thread]


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Old Tuesday 16th November 2010, 01:26   #2
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One place for that information would be the Opus, the section for locations. There does not seem to be any information in there at the moment for Colombia, but take a look at http://birdforum.net/opus/Costa_Rica for a partly filled in country with a few sites started as independent pages.

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Old Tuesday 16th November 2010, 11:55   #3
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One place for that information would be the Opus, the section for locations. Niels
I am new to this Niels so thank you for the tip. I opened the page http://www.birdforum.net/opus/Colombia to kick this off. So recommendations will be posted there. Thank you.
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Old Monday 30th April 2012, 16:05   #4
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I would recommend the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta (around 20 endemics), El Choco and Amazonas. But even the Botanical Gardens in Medellin and the park in Bogota can have really spectacular birds.
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Old Wednesday 2nd May 2012, 07:19   #5
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I am new to this Niels so thank you for the tip. I opened the page http://www.birdforum.net/opus/Colombia to kick this off. So recommendations will be posted there. Thank you.
Choco: either Las tangaras or Montezuma Road. Urrao: for its 4 endemics: the Antpitta, Dusky Starfrontlet, Flowerpiercer and Tapacullo. Piha reserve in Antiochia for amongst others the Chestnut-capped Piha and multi-coloured tanager.

Also agree on the SN de santa marta (and wjhile you're there I'd add Isla Salamanca and the Guajira peninsula for some species that stradle the border with Venezuela (and which apparently are harde on the venezuelan side of the border).

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Old Sunday 1st July 2012, 14:29   #6
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Top Must-visit Birding Sites In Colombia

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I would recommend the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta (around 20 endemics), El Choco and Amazonas. But even the Botanical Gardens in Medellin and the park in Bogota can have really spectacular birds.
Thank you Chris, I agree that there are many great places to visit in Colombia and sorry to leave many sites off the list. But thanks to everyone sending me gen and my own two visits, I tried to come up with the TOP MUST-VISIT BIRDING SITES IN COLOMBIA. Please feel free to make more suggestions - I'm sure new "hot" birding sites or areas will appear, but will try to avoid duplicating the same species between sites, so the more distinctive an area (with many endemics), the better. So please keep sending me gen!

See the top Colombian birding sites so far.
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Old Sunday 1st July 2012, 18:01   #7
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Choco: either Las tangaras or Montezuma Road.
Thank you Filip. I did research both Las Tangaras, Montezuma Road and other Choco sites. Las Tangaras and Montezuma Road are almost identical in species, but someone noted safety concerns on the Montezuma Road Birding (safely) in Colombia website. However, it is important to note that many people have been to both sites without any concerns, so I would not hesitate to return to either place. However, the logistics and accommodation options are quite favourable at Las Tangaras being convenient to Medellin International airport and the Colibre de Sol reserve with its high elevation Western Andes endemics.

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Also agree on the SN de santa marta (and wjhile you're there I'd add Isla Salamanca and the Guajira peninsula for some species that stradle the border with Venezuela (and which apparently are harde on the venezuelan side of the border).
I fully agree, the El dorado reserve in the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta is extremely convenient for many local sites on the coast, especially a wonderful day-trip to Los Flamencos National Park to easily see something like a dozen Guajira peninsula endemics.

Thank you for the recommendations and welcome any updates.
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Old Sunday 1st July 2012, 18:44   #8
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Maybe not in the 'top 5' sites,

But may I also put in a good word for Nevado Del Ruiz (near to Manizales,and nearby -and definitely top 5 material- rio Blanco) which is great for several difficult highland hummingbirds such as Bearded Helmetcrest, Rainbow-bearded thornbill and black-thighed puffleg, antpittas, black-backed Bush Tanager as well as the endemic rufous-fronted parakeet, and in general for its absolutely stunning scenery .

And a great site close to Bogota: Chingaza: Antpittas (incuding Undulated), blue-throated and golden-bellied starfrontlets (NE), coppery-bellied puffleg (NE), Bronze-tailed (NE) and purple -backed thornbill, silvery-throated spinetail (E), brown-Breasted Parakeet (E) and Mattoral Tapaculo (E) as well as other goodies such as black-billed mountain toucan and black-collared jay. :-)

others near to Bogota: Guasca Gravel pits for Bogota rail (E), spot-flanked gallinule and Noble Snipe: all 3 quite common there (and the rail dead easy to see).

Cheers,

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Old Saturday 7th July 2012, 18:17   #9
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Maybe not in the 'top 5' sites
Thanks Filip, I added those sites and gen to the birding guide page. Keep the info flowing!
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Old Sunday 8th July 2012, 13:16   #10
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Thanks Filip, I added those sites and gen to the birding guide page. Keep the info flowing!
I'll need to check through my notes again. :-) Rio Blanco is another spot for chestnut woodquail (seen a covey well once and heard daily), and had the following antpittas coming to feeders (apart from the brown-banded): chestnut-naped, bicolored and chestnut-crowned antpitta. Slate-crowned antpitta was quite vocal and common in bamboo patches (2 seen well). Apparently it sometimes also will come to a feeder. Undulated Antpitta is apparently also possible here. Occelated Tapaculo was seen well (and several were calling). It's also a good site for masked saltator and golden-plumed parakeet. Owls: white-throated screech owl and rufous-banded owl.

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Old Tuesday 10th July 2012, 23:30   #11
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Thank you Filip. I did research both Las Tangaras, Montezuma Road and other Choco sites. Las Tangaras and Montezuma Road are almost identical in species, but someone noted safety concerns on the Montezuma Road Birding (safely) in Colombia website. However, it is important to note that many people have been to both sites without any concerns, so I would not hesitate to return to either place.
Eric, you should have researched deeper - Note that Jurgen's link info is from 2003! and situation now is absolutely different; actually, Jurgen himself visits Montezuma often with his groups some years ago!... Montezuma is an absolutely safe place to visit that we many local companies use -along with Fieldguides, Rockjumper, VENT, etc etc- - There is a lovely worth-to-know/support local people story behind Montezuma: guiding, lodging, meals, everything!, is run by locals and improves every day actually!... and of course, even handier and closer to Medellin, not only us but several birders and companies prefer supporting these guys than visiting Tangaras ...

Shots from Montezuma for all of you to enjoy and include this place for your next trip:
http://www.flickr.com/search/?q=mont...17%40N08&s=int

saludos,
Diego.
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Old Monday 23rd July 2012, 00:40   #12
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Birding (safely) in Colombia

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...situation now is absolutely different...
It is a great disservice to Montezuma that the website "Birding (safely) in Colombia" is not corrected, especially if the author has been at the site recently. The website is signed "Jurgen Beckers, 17 september 2006". But as I mentioned:

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it is important to note that many people have been to both sites without any concerns, so I would not hesitate to return to either place.
The Las Tangaras bird reserve and Montezuma road are fabulous sites no matter what "several birders and companies prefer".
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Old Thursday 26th July 2012, 18:26   #13
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Hi Eric,

Probably a well known / visited area by now which may be of interest is Otun Quimbaya, near the city of Pereira, in the central Andes. Cauca Guan (E) is very easy near to, and often on the grounds of the research center and Colombian Screech Owl (NE) can be found on the trails behind the center grounds. (we had good sightings of a singing individual). Other species heard were chestnut woodquail (E) and moustached antpitta. Red-ruffed Fruitcrow is very common and we had at least 3 multicoloured tanagers (E) in mixed flocks along the main track / road running through the reserve. Chestnut-breasted wren is quite common by voice. It's also worth scanning the river along the access road leading to the reserve for White-capped Dipper and Torrent Duck. We had lodgings arranged at the center which were quite comfortable and gave us the advantage of being able to bird dusk till dawn in the place.

KR,

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