Posts from March 2013

Back to Colombia for a second time (February 15 – March 03, 2013): Peter Hawrylyshyn & Bob Lewis search for more hummingbird species and bird specialties at new birding sites.

Mar 15, 2013

After a highly successful introductory birding tour last August 2012, Peter & Bob return to Colombia in 2013 searching for several specific endemic species, visiting two additional important birding areas (Santa Marta and Cerro Montezuma). As stated by Peter´s concluding remarks: “Another amazing trip – we saw about 435 species of which 55 were lifers for Bob. The 59 species of hummingbirds which we saw included all our “must-see” target species except for the Mountain Avocetbill. Our hosts couldn’t have been friendlier, especially at Finca Montezuma and Finca Alejandría. … Accommodations at all the lodges were more than adequate … Once again the food was excellent, and no one got sick. Lastly, very special thanks yet again to Daniel for helping organize this custom tour. As more areas of Colombia open up to birding, chances are we’ll return for a third trip.”

Download Trip Report in PDF format.


And a nice hummingbird video prepared by Peter can be seen at:


Above, from left to right: Peter Hawrylyshyn, Bob Lewis & Daniel Uribe, at Rio Blanco nature reserve.

Posts from February 2013

Central Andes short tour with birders from New York.

Feb 15, 2013

A short trip (February 5 – 13, 2013) organized for Joe Giunta´s Happy Warblers touring company from New York, attended by five birders. We saw very nice endemics & specialties such as the Cauca Guan, Sickle-winged Guan, Buff-necked Ibis, Hook-billed Kite, Blackish Rail, Yellow-eared Parrot, Golden-plumed Parakeet, Spectacled Parrotlet, Rusty-faced Parrot, Lyre-tailed Nightjar, Wedge-billed Hummingbird, Purple-backed & Rainbow-bearded Thornbill, Bearded Helmetcrest, Glowing Puffleg, Golden-breasted Puffleg, Fawn-breasted Brilliant, Golden-headed Quetzal, Black-billed Mountain-Toucan, Grayish Piculet, Crimson-mantled & Powerfull Woodpecker, Streaked Tuftetcheek, Flammulated Treehunter, Tyrannine & Black-banded Woodcreeper, Bar-crested Antshrike, Long-tailed & Jet Antbird, Chestnut-naped Antpitta, Brown-banded & Slate-crowned Antpitta, Ocellated & Paramo Tapaculo, White-banded Tyrannulet, Slate-headed Tody-Flycatcher, Apical Flycatcher, Andean Cock-of-the-Rock, Red-ruffed Fruitcrow, Dusky Piha, Rufous-naped Greenlet, Black-collared Jay, Whiskered & Chestnut-breasted Wren, White-capped Dipper, White-capped Tanager, Flame-rumped & Scrub Tanager, Scarlet-bellied & Blue-winged & Buff-breasted Mountain-Tanager, Plushcap, Black-backed Bush-Tanager, Slate-colored & Paramo Seedeater, Red-hooded Tanager, Golden-fronted Redstart and Yellow-billed Cacique, among others.

From left to right: Kathy Drake, Joe Giunta, Daniel Uribe, Alison Rea & Mary Miller, birding on a cold-morning day at Jardin.

Posts from January 2013

More Andean endemics with magnificent birding crew from USA, UK & Canada.

Jan 20, 2013

From December 28th (2012) to January 5th (2013) we birded the Western & Central Andes for endemics & specialties with Wendy Money and daughter Trina Warren (USA), joined by Pauline Horton & Graham Leach (UK). After birding the Lomalinda Nature Reserve & Chicoral area above Cali, we visited the very nice hummingbird feeders of Juan José Arango & wife Anabelle in Cali. Then, we birded El Vínculo Nature Serve and Sonso marshes in Buga, after which we drove to Otún-Quimbaya Wildlife Sanctuary for a 2-night stay. Our route continued with a very productive stop at Cameguadua marsh in Chinchiná, Río Blanco, Los Nevados & Jardín, finishing in Medellin airport with a farewell to Wendy & Trina. Here, Eva Froese from Canada joined Graham and Pauline for an extension into the Chestnut-capped Piha Reserve in the Anorí area, Río Claro in the Magdalena Valley, Bellavista forest in Victoria and forest fragments at El Líbano, with a final visit to the hummingbirds at Recinto del Pensamiento in Manizales before driving back to Cali for Pauline’s & Graham flight back to the UK. Eva Froese stayed a bit longer, birding Río Blanco and Los Nevados before returning back to Canada.

Bird count totaled 462 species (23 species heard only). Endemics & specialties seen included, but were not restricted to, the following: Northern Screamer, Cauca Guan, Colombian Chachalaca, Yellow-eared Parrot, Bearded Helmetcrest, Black-thighed Puffleg, Golden-breasted Puffleg, Purple-throated Woodstar, White-Mantled Barbet, Grayish Piculet, Bar-crested Antshrike, Parker´s Antbird, Brown-banded Antpitta, Stile´s Tapaculo, Rufous-breasted Flycatcher, Apical Flycatcher, Chestnut-capped Piha, Sooty-headed Wren, Multicolored Tanager, Black-headed & Yellow-headed Brush-Finch, Sooty Ant-Tanager, Golden-fronted Redstar and Red-bellied Grackle, among others.

From left to right: Trina Warren, Wendy Money, Graham Leach and Pauline Horton, birding for the Yellow-eared Parrot at Jardin.


From left to right: Eva Froese, Graham Leach, Pauline Horton & Daniel Uribe, at Chestnut-capped Piha Reserve.


Posts from November 2012

Central & Western Andes Endemics: 10-day trip report (October 6-15, 2012).

Nov 19, 2012

This is a 31-page trip report with photos & complete species account of birds seen with Robert & Sarah Carr from Boston, Massachusetts. After traveling 1,200 kilometers along our settled itinerary, we managed to see or hear 22 of the 28 endemics. Overall, we saw 327 species and heard 21 additional species, for a total of 348 species. Besides the 22 endemics, at least 55 more species were true Andean specialties.

Download Trip Report in PDF format.



Below: The uncommon & semi-diurnal Andean Pygmy-Owl was seen vocalizing at Los Nevados National Park. Photo by guide Daniel Uribe.

Posts from October 2012

Touring for Central Andes Endemics: how good birding in Colombia can be.

Oct 23, 2012

Birded the Central & Western Andes from October 6-15 (2012) with Robert & Sarah Carr from Boston (Massachusetts).  After traveling 1,200 kilometers we managed to see or hear 22 out of 28 expected endemics. We saw 327 species and “heard only” 21 species, for a total of 348 species in 8 days. In addition to the endemics, we saw 55 species considered to be true Andean specialties. For a detailed itinerary, please download the PDF that describes our medium length “Central Andes Endemics” tour from the Tours section of this web page.

Birds seen included the Grayish Piculet and Colombian Chachalaca at El Vinculo reserve; Blackish Rail & Cinnamon Teal at the Cartago marshes; Wilson’s  Phalarope on October 9th at the Cameguadua marsh (a rare migrant in this part of the country); Multicolored Tanager, Stile´s Tapaculo, Cauca Guan, Colombian Screech-Owl, Rufous-breasted Flycatcher and Red-ruffed Fruitcrow at Otún-Quimbaya Wildlife Sanctuary; Brown-banded, Slate-crowned, Chestnut-crowned, Chestnut-naped and Undulated Antpittas at Río Blanco, plus Chestnut Wood-Quail, Golden-fronted Whitestar, Golden-plumed Parakeet, Rusty-faced Parrot, Golden-headed Quetzal, Black-billed Mountain-Toucan, Crimson-mantled & Powerful Woodpeckers, White-throated Screech-Owl, Band-winged &  Lyre-tailed Nightjars, Sword-billed Hummingbird, Fawn-breasted Brilliant, Pearled Treerunner, Tyrannine Woodcreeper, Long-tailed Antbird, Dusky Piha, Black-collared Jay and Red-hooded Tanager, among many others.

Our Grand Vitara 4x4 allowed us to scout the Old Road to Los Nevados, where we had great views of the Black-thighed and Golden-breasted Pufflegs, Rainbow-bearded and Purple-backed Thornbills, Mountain Velvetbreast, Shining Sunbeam, Great Sapphirewing, Buff-winged Starfrontlet, Tyrian and Viridian Metaltails. At 4,000 meters we enjoyed the Bearded Helmetcrest and as we came down the mountain encountered a group of Black-backed Bush-Tanager and a gorgeous Andean Pygmy-Owl vocalizing from a tree.

A short but productive visit to Neira road gave us a close encounter with the endemic  Yellow-headed Brush-Finch and a good sighting of the Moustached Puffbird. At Morro Amarillo we had amazing looks at a female Hook-billed Kite, Slate-colored Seedeater, Guira Tanager, Yellow-backed Oriole, Black-chested Jay and a close encounter with Parker’s Antbird, among many other birds.

Final day birding the road to Ventanas Pass above Jardín allowed us to see 30 Yellow-eared Parrrots, plus Yellow-vented Woodpecker, Yellow-bellied Chat-Tyrant, Citrine Warbler, Black-capped Tyrannulet and Black-throated Pygmy-Tyrant.  On the afternoon we encountered a group of 7 gorgeous Red-bellied Grackles moving along with the beautiful Scarlet-rumped Cacique (the high altitude uropygialis subspecies) and Russet-backed Oropendolas. Closed the day with a farewell visit to the Cock-of-the-Rock lek near town.

In the words of Robert Carr after returning to Boston: “Dear Daniel, we had a great time on the trip!  This was certainly the best birding trip we've ever been on, and the memories will last with us forever.  We are looking forward to the chance when we can plan a return visit to bird a different region of Colombia”.

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