Nothocercus bonaparteiA rare and difficult to see inhabitant of subtropical and lower temperate forests of the three Andean ranges between 500 to 2200 meters, overlapping with the much higher Tawny-breasted Tinamou (Nothocercus julius – 1800 to 3500 meters) only at the 1800-2200 meter range. Widely distributed from Costa Rica and Panama to nw Venezuela and Colombia south into Perú, but nowhere common. This image of a close encounter was taken at Cerro Montezuma when the bird was calmly crossing the road at mid-elevation.
Anhima cornutaA very big bird with a bare quill protruding from the crown. Difficult to see in the Cauca Valley (Laguna de Sonso marsh) and lower Magdalena Valley where populations have declined severely due to habitat loss and hunting. This image was taken in the Eastern llanos at the municipality of Arauca (Arauca Department), where healthy populations still strive in cattle farms and along small streams (“caños”) and swamps. In Colombia, this bird is known as “Buitre de Ciénaga” or “Aruco”, giving the name to the Department of “Arauca” for which it is the state bird and a strong identity icon.
Chauna chavariaA very large bird with contrasting body marks that render it unique. Formerly common in lower Magdalena, Sinú and Atrato Valleys, populations are declining fast due to the loss of marshes and swampy areas along main rivers. This image was taken in the Magdalena Valley near Puerto Berrío (Antioquia).
Sarkidiornis melanotosA rare and local bird, previously more abundant, now scarce due to loss of freshwater marshes and lagoons. Found in Africa, Asia and in South America from Eastern Panamá (Chocó rivers) south into Argentina. American birds have been regarded as a separate species (S. sylvicola – South American Comb Duck) by some authors. Very shy, does not allow close approach. Found usually alone or in pairs, feeding with other ducks and aquatic birds. Can be seen with some luck at sandbars and flooded rice fields near Cartago (Cauca Valley).
Anas andiumThe Andean Teal inhabits cold lakes and ponds of the Central and Eastern Andes of Colombia above 2500m. This species is a split from the Speckled or Yellow-billed Teal (Anas flavirostris) by their differences in bill color (black in A. andium, yellow in A. flavirostris), plumage and other characteristics. A. flavirostris is a lowland Teal, whereas A. andium is restricted to high elevations. Most frequently seen around Bogotá and at Los Nevados National Park.
Anas bahamensisAn uncommon resident of coastal lagoons and brackish waters (< 100 meters) of Northern Colombia (Caribbean region) around Cartagena, Ciénaga Grande de Santa Marta and Guajira. Present in the Bahamas, Western Indies, Dutch Antilles and most of coastal South America including Galapagos (but absent from the Pacific coast of Colombia to most of Ecuador).
Nomonyx dominicusThis is a widespread but never common nor easy to see duck. Hard to find, can be seen at small ponds and lakes below 2800 meters in Colombia. Widely distributed from southern Texas and México to Argentina, it is also present in West Indies and Trinidad. Usually seen alone, in pairs or small groups, it prefers to stay in cover. As the Ruddy Duck, it submerges to feed in vegetation or to hide from the observer.
Oxyura ferrugineaUsually seen in pairs or groups in Andean lakes of Central and Eastern Andes, from 2400m to 4000m. An expert diver, it is considered the Andean counterpart to the Rudy Duck (Oxyura jamaicensis) of North America. Readily seen in ponds of Sabana de Bogotá, Siecha & Guasca gravel pits, and at Laguna Negra in Los Nevados. Fair numbers can be seen in Laguna del Otún (southern section of Los Nevados). Oxyura ferruginea andina is an endemic subspecies present in the Central & Eastern Andes of Colombia. Oxyura ferruginea ferruginea is more widespread, from the Andes of southern Colombia to southern Argentina & Chile.
Oxyura ferrugineaJuvenile males are often confused with non-breeding males of same species and with females of scarce Masked Duck (Nomonyx dominicus) which occurs at lower altitudes (usually under 2600m). The blue color of the bill is starting to show up. Image taken at Laguna del Otún (Los Nevados)
Penelope perspicaxAn endemic bird thought to be extinct and rediscovered not many years ago. Limited to the Cauca Valley at intermediate altitudes (1300 – 2000m) in well preserved forests of the Western slope of the Central Andes and Eastern slope of the Western Andes (with the Cauca Valley in between). Can be seen well at Otún-Quimbaya Wildlife Sanctuary above Pereira (Risaralda) and in Bosque de Yotoco near Buga (Valle del Cauca).
Ortalis columbianaA vocal and conspicuous Chachalaca from the Magdalena & Cauca Valleys that prefers humid and deciduous forests from 300 - 2000m. Family groups survive in small patches of forest and scrubby woodland where they can be seen foraging through the top and medium levels. This species was placed as a subspecies in the Variable (Speckled) Chachalaca complex (Ortalis motmot) all together with Ortalis guttata (Speckled Chachalaca) of the Orinoco & Amazons. Can be seen in forested areas surrounding José María Córdova International Airport (serving Medellín at Rionegro), forests near Manizales and Bosque de Yotoco (Cauca Valley) near Buga, among other sites.
Crax albertiFemales also have the prominent curly crest, and the blue base of bill. The only curassow with blue base of bill. Image taken at Blue-billed Curassow Reserve in Puerto Pinzon (Boyaca).
Sula leucogasterA rather common booby in both the Caribbean Sea and Pacific Ocean. Nests on rocky cliffs and islands not as far away from shore as other boobies. Readily seen at Bahía Solano (Chocó).
Odontophorus hyperythrusEndemic to Colombia, the Chestnut Wood-Quail is found on subtropical forest of the Western and Central Andes from 1500 to 2700 meters. Also, on the southeast slope and upper Magdalena Valley in Huila. Present at a plural number of localities such as Río Blanco, Otún-Quimbaya Wildlife Sanctuary and Cerro Montezuma, although it is a difficult bird to see. This image was taken at Recinto del Pensamiento in Manizales.
Phoenicopterus ruberPresent in northern Colombia, on coastal lagoons of La Guajira peninsula and formerly in lower Magdalena Valley (Ciénaga de Zapatosa). Can be seen along the Caribbean coast in La Guajira, especially at Los Flamencos Wildlife Sanctuary (Camarones) near Riohacha, and further north in Manaure, Musiche and Punta Gallinas. Both resident (breeding) and migratory populations exist in northern Colombia.
Phoenicopterus ruberA group of juveniles lacking the characteristic adult color, photographed at Punta Gallinas (La Guajira), the most northern continental site of Colombia & South America.
Cochlearius cochleariusAn amazing nocturnal heron with very broad heavy bill that can be seen during the day roosting in trees above water in gallery forests of the Orinoco & Amazon regions in Colombia. Also present in northwestern Chocó, Caribbean and northern section of the Magdalena Valley below 800m. Feeds on fish, insects and a variety of small creatures in wetlands. This image was taken at Las Mercedes farm in the municipality of Arauca (Arauca).
Butorides virescensNot known to breed in continental Colombia, this is an uncommon northern migrant that winters in fresh and salt water lagoons and rivers of northern Colombia, northern Venezuela and eastern Ecuador. Resident in San Andrés Island. This image was taken February 12 (2008), in the Eastern Plains of Colombia, municipality of Yopal (Casanare).
Egretta rufescensPresent at coastal lagoons near Barranquilla (Los Cocos, Isla Salamanca) and north into La Guajira. Both resident and migratory populations are to be found in Colombia. This is a nomadic species, with seasonal movements not well known nor understood. Both dark and light phases coexist in Los Flamencos Wildlife Sanctuary (Camarones).
Egretta rufescensBirds in light phase plumage are rather common in Los Flamencos Wildlife Sanctuary (Camarones, 30-minutes south of Riohacha).
Rallus semiplumbeusRestricted to the Eastern Andes of Colombia, the Bogota Rail is a furtive and difficult to see bird that inhabits high altitude wetlands between 2200 -3000 meters. It can be seen in wetlands within the city of Bogotá (La Florida marsh near El Dorado Airport) or in the Bogotá plateau. This image was taken in the Siechia gravel pits (municipality of Guasca), a good place to see aquatic birds.
Pardirallus nigricansA furtive and hard to see rail of tall & damp grassy areas, marshes and flooded rice fields. When undisturbed, it can be seen walking in the open as it feeds on insects in grass and soil. Our tours will encounter this uncommon species in marshy areas around Medellín Airport (in Rionegro), Cameguadua marsh (Caldas), Cerro Montezuma & Laguna de Sonso.
Gallinula melanopsRestricted in Colombia to the Eastern Andes, the Spot-flanked Gallinule inhabits small ponds and lakes between 2300 – 3100 meters. The species is widely distributed from Colombia to Peru, Brazil, Uruguay, Argentina and Chile. It can be seen in wetlands within the city of Bogotá (La Florida marsh near El Dorado Airport, La Conejera marsh, others). Fairly common in Lago de Tota and Lago de Sochagota (Boyaca) and in Represa del Neusa (Cundinamarca). This image was taken in the Siechia gravel pits (municipality of Guasca).
Vanellus resplendensA beautiful bird of high elevations in the Andes, from southern Colombia to Ecuador and south into Chile & Argentina. Not known to breed in Colombia, it is found high in the Andes (2500 – 4000m) in grassy pastures and open lands surrounding lakes and ponds. This photo of a solitary bird was taken in the Central Andes (Risaralda) at Laguna del Otún (4000m – Los Nevados National Park). Can be seen casually in the Eastern Andes (Sabana de Bogotá).
Gallinago nobilisA semi-nocturnal snipe of marshy bogs and ponds high in the Andes between 2800 – 4000m in the three Andean ranges of Colombia, north-western Venezuela and Ecuador. Can be seen in margins of ponds in the Bogotá area (Siechia, near Chingaza National Park) and in Los Nevados National Park (Laguna del Otún).
Ognorhynchus icterotisFormerly present in northern Ecuador and undoubtedly along many more localities within the Eastern, Central and Western Andes of Colombia, the Yellow-eared Parrot is currently endangered with declining populations due to the loss of Wax Palm forests in temperate lands between 2000 – 3500m. This magnificent parrot can be seen commuting from roosting sites to feeding grounds along the Ventanas Pass above the colonial town of Jardín (Antioquia). Also, near the town of Cajamarca (Tolima) in the Central Andes. This image of a bird eating seeds of the Drago tree (Croton magdalenensis, Euphorbiaceae), was taken along the road to Ventanas Pass, just a few miles above Jardín.
Leptosittaca branickiiAn uncommon beautiful parakeet of upper temperate forests (1800 – 3500m) in the Central Andes of Colombia. Found also in Ecuador and Peru. Can be seen in well preserved forests above Salento in Quindío (La Montaña, Acaime & Estrella de Agua Nature Reserves), Río Blanco (Manizales) and on the road to Los Nevados National Park. This image was taken along the road to Los Nevados National Park.
Forpus conspicillatusA geographically restricted species to eastern Panamá, Colombia and western Venezuela, it is the most common parrotlet in the Cauca & Magdalena Valleys between 200 -1800m and occasionally even higher. A popular cage bird, feeds on small seeds of weeds and grasses, small berries and fruits, in pairs or flocks, usually noisy and very active. Can be seen in a plural number of localities, including Cameguadua marsh in Chinchiná (Caldas).
Bolborhynchus ferrugineifronsAn endemic bird limited strictly to the highlands and paramo vegetation of Los Nevados National Park in the Central Andes and nowhere else in the world. Small flocks (5-30 individuals) can be seen at treeline (3000 – 4100m) in Los Nevados National Park (departments of Caldas, Risaralda, Quindío & Tolima), especially at fruiting shrubs and trees or in steep cliffs where it nests in groups.
Hapalopsittaca amazoninaA rare and local parrot of the Andes between 2000 – 3600m. Present in Colombia spottily in the Western, Central and Eastern Andes. Spreads from north-western Venezuela through Colombia into Ecuador and Perú. Can be seen in flocks of 5-30 in Río Blanco and Urrao (trail to Colibrí del Sol). In Río Blanco it’s favorite food includes de small berries of mistletoes growing in the Alnus plantations (Alnus jorulensis) and the seeds of the Oak trees (Quercus humboltii).
Glaucidium nubicolaWith an enigmatic and broken distribution in the Western Andes from Colombia to Ecuador, this gracious little owl is very rare and hard to find in subtropical forests (1400 – 2000m). With much luck, it can be seen at Cerro Montezuma in Tatamá National Park (municipality of Pueblo Rico, Risaralda).
Glaucidium jardiniiAn uncommon little owl from temperate forests between 2000-3500m, with two morphs (rufous and dark). Semi-diurnal, has a recognizable call often given during late afternoon hours. Even at close distance, it is sometimes difficult to locate by voice. It is the only pygmy-owl in the highlands of the three Andean ranges in Colombia. Pygmy-owls lack ear tufts (present and very noticeable in Screech-owls). This image was taken on the road to Los Nevados, where it can be seen with some luck. Also present at Río Blanco.
Schistes albogularisAn uncommon little hummingbird of subtropical or lower montane forests (800-2500m) of both slopes of the Western Andes and west slope of the Central Andes of Colombia. Also, on the west slope of the Andes of Ecuador. It is regarded as a nectar parasite since it pierces the corolla of the flowers without coming in contact with pollen; thus, it does not act as a pollinator. In doing so, it takes the nectar but does not return the favor to the kind flowers. It visits the gardens at the lower entrance to Río Blanco and at Otún-Quimbaya Wildlife Sanctuary (lodge gardens & Los Bejucos trail) where it is reliable but may require some degree of patience. Previously considered as Schistes geoffroyi albogularis, it is now recognized as a full species by Clements & eBird versions 2017 & 2018. Also known as Western Wedge-billed Hummingbird by IOC & Handbook of the Birds of the World Alive (2017). The related species Schistes geoffroyi geoffroyi (Geoffroy´s Wedgebill or Eastern Wedge-billed Hummingbird) is restricted to the Eastern Andes of Colombia, northern Venezuela and eastern Peru. Schistes geoffroyi chapmani is restricted to the Andes of central Bolivia (Cochabamba).
Aglaiocercus coelestisA beautiful hummingbird of mossy forests, present in the Pacific (western) slope of the Western Andes and northwestern Ecuador between 300-2100m. The male has the long tail characteristic of sylphs. Can be seen at Cerro Montezuma in Tatamá and in ProAves Reserve Las Tangaras in Carmen de Atrato (road to Quibdó, Chocó).
Aglaiocercus coelestisFemales lack the long tail of males, are rufous on the loer breast and belly, and their behavior is less showy, becoming inconspicuous and cryptic.
Ramphomicron microrhynchumThis striking hummingbird is rather uncommon in temperate forests between 1700-3500m in all three Andean ranges. Females lack the purple colors of males and male immatures are patchily colored above and whitish below with green spots. Can be seen along the road to Los Nevados but especially on the Old Road to Los Nevados. Has territorial disputes with Rainbow-bearded Thornbill, Golden-breasted Pufflegs and other hummingbirds.
Chalcostigma heteropogonA beautiful hummingbird that lives high in the Andes between 2800-3500m, found only in northwestern Venezuela and the Eastern Andes of Colombia. Can be seen along the road to Chingaza National Park in paramo, stunted vegetation & clumps of tall grass or brush.
Chalcostigma herraniAn uncommon and local high-altitude hummingbird, present in Colombia only in the Central Andes and southern Western Andes between 2700-4100m. Females lack the male beard. Can be seen at Los Nevados National Park.
Oxypogon stubeliiAn endemic hummingbird of high elevations (3200 – 4800m), present only in the Central Andes of Colombia, from Caldas to Tolima. More easily seen at Los Nevados National Park, albeit at low numbers when the Espeletia (“frailejón”) plants are not bloomed. This image was taken at Los Nevados National Park. Here, the bird is perched on a Paramo Rosemary (Diplostephium revolutum, Asteraceae) which is by far the main food resource for the bird.
Oxypogon stubeliiFemales lack the crest and beard, and are more difficult to encounter than males. At Los Nevados National Park one may see one female for every ten males. This image of a female standing on a bloomed Paramo Rosemary (Diplostephium revolutum, Asteracea – in Spanish known as Romero de Páramo or Romerillo) was taken at Los Nevados National Park.
Eriocnemis vestitaA strikingly colorful bird if seen in good light, it is rather common in temperate forests of the three Andean ranges in Colombia (2200 – 3850m) and in north-western Venezuela, Ecuador and Perú. As other species in the genus Eriocnemis, it is territorial and pugnacious, and raises the wings briefly upon landing. This bird can be seen in Chingaza National Park near Bogotá and occasionally at the hummingbird feeders of the Yellow-eared Parrot Reserve (ProAves) above Jardín.
Eriocnemis vestitaFemales have a buffy throat and breast, tinged purple on the throat and with green disks on breast. Besides, they have the characteristic white puffs and glittering green upper-tail coverts.
Eriocnemis derbyiAn uncommon high-altitude hummingbird present only in the Central Andes of Colombia and northern Ecuador, between 2500-3600m. The diagnostic black pufflegs of males are hard to see in the field (and even harder to photograph); the best field mark is the intensely glittering green upper and under tail coverts. Can be seen at the Old Road to Los Nevados, where males guard aggressively their territories.
Eriocnemis derbyiFemale Black-thighed Puffleg lacks the uniform black thighs of the male, replaced by mostly white feathers.
Eriocnemis cupreoventrisThis beautiful hummingbird of nw Venezuela and Colombia is restricted to the Eastern Andes (1900 – 3000m) where it inhabits dry temperate forests, shrubby vegetation and gardens. It can be seen along the road to Chingaza National Park two hours away from Bogota.
Eriocnemis mosqueraAn active and aggressive territorial hummingbird of high elevations (2500 – 3600m) in the Andes of Colombia & Ecuador, found in the Western and Central Andes from Los Nevados area (Caldas) south into Puracé National Park and Nariño. It favors treeline vegetation and can be seen in the Old Road to Los Nevados (Caldas).
Coeligena wilsoniRelatively common in the west slope of the Western Andes between 700-2200m, it only lives in Colombia & Ecuador. Can be seen in a number of localities including Cerro Montezuma and Las Tangaras reserve where more abundant between 1000-1300m.
Coeligena prunelleiAn endemic & vulnerable hummingbird restricted to the Eastern Andes of Colombia, from 1400-2700m. Visits pendent flowers with long corolla tubes in the canopy and midlevels of humid montane forests. Can be seen at a number of localities, including Laguna de Pedro Palo, Chicaque and Rogitama Nature Reserve where it is a stellar bird at gardens.
Coeligena orinaThis extremely range-restricted hummingbird can be seen at ProAve’s Colibrí del Sol nature reserve in the municipality of Urrao (Antioquia), where it comes very well into feeders placed along the trail that leads to the Páramo de Frontino. At this site in the Western Andes, the endemic Chestnut-bellied Flowerpiercer (Diglossa gloriosissima) can also be seen.
Coeligena orinaWhen Hilty & Brown published their seminal work (Birds of Colombia, 1986), only the male of this species was known. This image of a female was taken at RNA Colibrí del Sol.
Ensifera ensiferaAmazing hummingbird from the highlands (1700 – 3300m ) of the Andes from Venezuela south into Bolivia. Uncommon, can be seen in wet montane forests feeding on flowers of Passifloraceae (passion fruits) or darting through the air catching insects on flight. Best seen in Acaime Nature Reserve above Salento, Río Blanco and along the Old Road to Los Nevados.
Boissonneaua jardiniAstonishing hummingbird of intense purple feathers in frontlet, breast and underparts that glows and shines in proper light but that otherwise looks intense black. Present only in Colombia and western Ecuador, between 350-2200m. As other members of the Boissonneaua genus, it lifts its wings momentarily upon landing. It is rather uncommon but can be seen reliably at the feeders in Las Tangaras Reserve.
Urochroa bougueriBeautiful hummingbird of very humid subtropical forests between 1000-2500m. Known to have seasonal shifts in elevation, it is often seen near water. Distributed from southern Colombia into Ecuador and Peru, can be seen with some luck at Cerro Montezuma.
Heliodoxa rubinoidesA graceful hummingbird from cloud forest interiors and dense borders, present in the northern end of the Western Andes, both slopes of the Central Andes and west slope of the Eastern Andes between 1800 – 2600m. Locally common at some sites, rare in others. Best seen at Río Blanco and Recinto del Pensamiento in Manizales (Caldas).
Heliodoxa imperatrixAn uncommon species from the Pacific slope of the Western Andes, from headwaters of río San Juan (Cerro Tatamá) south into north-western Ecuador. Can be seen at Las Tangaras Nature Reserve (ProAves) in Carmen de Atrato and in Cerro Montezuma (Pueblo Rico).
Heliodoxa imperatrixHeliodoxa hummingbirds have the feathers of forehead growing into the base of the bill. Immatures have the buff malar stripe.
Calliphlox mitchelliThis near-endemic little hummingbird is relatively common albeit somewhat erratic and unpredictable between 800-2000m in the Western Andes and northern Central Andes of Colombia, and western Ecuador. Prefers forest edges, shrubs & gardens. Can be seen in a plural number of sites such as ProAves´s Las Tangaras & Chestnut-capped Piha Reserve.
Chlorostilbon gibsoniAn uncommon near-endemic hummingbird of northern Colombia and western Venezuela. Favors semi-dry woodland and mix plantations between 200-2300m in lower & upper Magdalena Valley. Somewhat erratic and unpredictable, can be seen at the Enchanted Gardens of San Francisco, where this image was taken.
Chlorostilbon poortmanniAn uncommon hummingbird of dry wooded areas, second growth, shrubs and gardens, restricted to the Eastern Andes in Colombia and Western Venezuela between 500-2800m. Can be seen at Rogitama Nature Reserve near the small town of Arcabuco, some 3 hours north of Bogotá.
Leucippus fallaxA uniquely colored hummingbird of arid lands that visits flowers at cacti and scrubland in northern Colombia (around Riohacha in La Guajira) and north-western Venezuela. Locally common, it can be seen around Riohacha and Los Flamencos Wildlife Sanctuary near the town of Camarones.
Amazilia cyanifronsConfined to the middle and upper Magdalena Valley from Boyacá south into Huila. Uncommon or locally common, it favors shrubby vegetation, forest borders and shade coffee plantations between 400 – 2200m. Apparently nomadic or with strong seasonal movements, it has been recorded once near Barranquilla and once in Costa Rica (accidentals). This is one of the stellar hummingbirds at the Enchanted Gardens of San Francisco not too far away from Bogotá.
Pharomachrus auricepsAn uncommon and splendid bird of mid & lower temperate forests between 1100-3000m. Present in all three Cordilleras of Colombia and the Andes of northwestern Venezuela south into Bolivia. Usually seen in pairs feeding on fruits of large trees at canopy and mid-levels. They sally and pluck the fruits on air while hovering. More often heard than seen, it has a loud voice that can be transmitted for a fairly long distance.
Malacoptila mystacalisA silent and uncommon inhabitant of humid forests in the Andes (800 – 2100m) of Colombia & Venezuela. In Colombia, it is present in the Pacific slope of the Western Andes and both slopes of the Central Andes and Eastern Andes; also, present in the Macarena, Perijá & Santa Marta Mountains. The very sharp and high peeping of it’s voice is the best field-mark for finding this awesome bird around Jardín (Antioquia), Otún-Quimbaya (Risaralda), Finca El Aralcal and Los Alcázares Eco-Park in Manizales (Caldas).
Capito hypoleucusGorgeous country-endemic of humid forests in mid Magdalena Valley and lower Cauca Valley, present locally between 200-1500m. Found usually in pairs or family groups, in the Cañón de Río Claro (Doradal), Chestnut-capped Piha Reserve (ProAves, at Anorí) and Victoria (Caldas).
Andigena hypoglaucaAn uncommon inhabitant of high mountain forests (2600 – 3500 m) in Southern Colombia and the Central Andes above Manizales. Found sporadically above Salento and Manizales in well protected forests of the buffer zone of Los Nevados National Park.
Andigena nigrirostrisAn amazing blue-chested mountain-toucan of Venezuela, Colombia and northeastern Ecuador. In Colombia present at the three Andean ranges from 1200 -3200m, but populations probably diminishing due to habitat loss. Can be seen in Río Blanco (Caldas) and above Salento in Quindío.
Picumnus granadensisAn endemic little bird mostly from dry forests but also humid forests, forest borders, second growth and gardens with scattered trees and shrubs. Present in the mid and upper Cauca Valley, Patía Valley and dry canyons of the Western Andes (Pacific slope) in Dagua and Calima, between 800 – 2100m. Can be seen in Los Alcázares Ecopark in Manizales, Cameguadua marsh in Chinchiná (Caldas), Centro de La Guadua (Quindío) and a plural number of localities.
Melanerpes pulcherA locally distributed endemic of mid Magdalena Valley, present in humid forests, edges and second growth forests between 250-1500m. A split from Golden-naped Woodpecker (Melanerpes chrysauchen) from Costa Rica and Panama. Females lack the male’s white forecrown (replaced by black) and red belly.
Colaptes rivoliiThis most beautiful woodpecker is often seen joining mixed flocks at dense cloud forests and treeline vegetation in the three Andean ranges of Colombia, between 1800 – 3500m. Best seen at Río Blanco Nature Reserve in Caldas.
Euchrepomis (Terenura) callinotaPresent locally in humid subtropical forests between 700-2500m in all three Andean ranges. Distributed from Colombia to nw Venezuela (Perijá Mountains), Guyana, Ecuador & Peru. Single birds or pairs join mix flocks in the canopy & midlevels, moving very fast as they glean for insects from foliage like a warbler or greenlet. Can be seen at Las Tangaras reserve, Cerro Montezuma and more rarely at Otún-Quimbaya wildlife sanctuary.
Schizoeaca fuliginosaNice bird of paramo ecosystems and treeline (3000 – 4000m) at the Eastern & Central Andes. Can be seen in Chingaza & Los Nevados National Parks.
Synallaxis subpudicaPresent at the northern end of the Eastern Andes (1200 – 3200m) in Boyacá and Cundinamarca, it is the most numerous spinetail in the Sabana de Bogotá. Can be found in thickets, hedgerows, gardens with trees and shrubs, at Chingaza National Park and La Florida wetland near El Dorado International Airport.
Synallaxis candeiVery nice spinetail from Venezuela & Colombia, linked to arid shrublands of the Guajira Peninsula. This is a very active bird that can be seen feeding on insects in low shrubs and tangles. It comes to the open, thus not as difficult to see well as other spinetails.
Hellmayrea gularisThis spinetail is wren-like in appearance, differing from other spinetails by having a shorter tail. Found in Venezuela, Colombia, Ecuador and Perú, it is a high-mountain dweller (2400-3800m). Can be seen at tree-line (around 3300m) on the Old Road to Los Nevados in Caldas.
Cranioleuca hellmayriCommon in the Santa Marta Mountains, between 1200-3000m, where it is more abundant at the higher elevations (above 2500m), usually in pairs. It feeds very actively, constantly moving on tangles, dense and open shrubbery, from low to mid heights. A monotypic species, only from the Santa Marta Mountains and Serranía de Perijá (Venezuela & Colombia). Image taken at Cuchilla de San Lorenzo in the Santa Marta Mountains.
Margarornis stellatusA beautiful bird from mossy cloud forests in the Western Andes of Colombia and Ecuador, between 1200 - 2200m but mainly above 1600m. It can be seen at Cerro Montezuma (Pueblo Rico, Risaralda).
Margarornis squamigerA favorite bird for the striking pearled plumage, it is fairly common in humid & epiphyte-laden forests in the 3 Andean ranges between 1500 – 3500m. With similar behavior to woodcreepers, it joins mixed flocks of birds, singly, in pairs or even family groups, exploring bromeliads and mosses. Can be seen in Río Blanco, Los Nevados and a plural number of localities throughout Colombia.
Clibanornis (Automolus) rufipectusAn endemic bird restricted to the northern & northwestern slopes of the Santa Marta Mountains that forages singly in the undergrowth & mid-elevations of very dense vegetation. Better localized through its vocalizations, can be very tough to see well and even more difficult to photograph. Image taken above Minca.
Thripadectes holostictusFound spottily throughout the three Andean ranges of Colombia, between 1800 – 2700m. Its distribution goes from northwestern Venezuela south into Ecuador & Bolivia. This image was taken at Los Yarumos Ecopark in Manizales.
Thripadectes virgaticepsAn uncommon and inconspicuous bird of dense undergrowth in montane forests between 1200-2500m, found in all three Andean ranges. Better found by its vocalization. Present in Venezuela, Colombia & Ecuador. This image was taken at Kilometer 18 above Cali.
Thripadectes flammulatusNowhere common, this strikingly patterned bird is present in the three Andean ranges and the Santa Marta Mountains. Ranges from northwestern Venezuela south into Ecuador. This image was taken in Río Blanco, where it has been seen with fledglings and actively nesting in the months of February and May. The nest is a deep tunnel in earth banks.
Dendrocincla tyranninaReadily recognizable since it is the only uniform plain-brown woodcreeper of large size to be found high in the Andes (1900 – 3000m). Rare and local, it is present throughout the three Andean ranges of Colombia and south into Ecuador & Perú. It can be seen in Río Blanco (Caldas) and along the old trail to Acaime & La Montaña Nature Reserve above Salento (Quindío).
Dendrocolaptes picumnusA rare bird of montane forests in the three Andes of Colombia (1300-2800m) and Amazonian lowlands that joins mix flocks and follows army ants. Widely distributed from southern Mexico to Argentina. Can be seen above the town of Soatá in dense Oak forests (Eastern Andes) and more rarely at Otún-Quimbaya Wildlife Sanctuary in the Central Andes. Also, at ProAves´s El Dorado reserve in the Santa Marta Mountains. Image taken at Soatá´s Oak forests.
Xiphorhynchus susurransA relatively common bird with a powerful voice, present in humid and semi-dry forests of the Cauca & Magdalena Valleys, and in the northern subtropics & foothills of the Santa Marta Mountains, below 1700m. Can be seen in the Rio Claro canyon (mid-Magdalena Valley), El Vinculo regional reserve & Sonso marsh near Buga (Cauca Valley), and Tayrona National Park.
Pseudocolaptes lawrenciiUncommon in humid and mossy forest of the Pacific slope in the Western Andes of Colombia, between 700-2200m. Singly or in pairs & family groups, joins mix flocks while probing for insects in bromeliads and thick tangles. Can be seen in Cerro Montezuma and Las Tangaras reserve.
Thamnophilus multistriatusAn astonishing antshrike for its coloring and behavior, it has healthy populations in the humid coffee region and dry forests (900 – 2200m) of Colombia (foothills of the Cauca & Magdalena Valleys) and north-western Venezuela (Perijá Mountains). It favors coffee plantations with or without shade, forest borders and open habitats in gardens and life fences.
Thamnophilus multistriatusThis photo was taken at the sub-xerophytic forest of Dagua (Valle del Cauca) in the Western Andes.
Drymophila striaticepsThis amazingly beautiful antbird prefers dense vines, tangles and bamboo stands (Chusquea sp.) where it gathers insects; in pairs, family groups or sometimes joining mixed flocks at humid and dry forests between 1200 – 3100m in the Central and Western Andes of Colombia (and in the eastern slope in the southern states of Nariño & Putumayo) and south into Ecuador, Perú and northern Bolivia. Present locally, can be seen in Río Blanco (Caldas).
Cercomacra parkeriA very vocal but furtive antbird endemic to Colombia between 1100-1900m. Difficult to see since it never comes into the open and stays hidden in very dense vegetation. Wonders in pairs but does not join mixed flocks of birds. Can be seen in several localities including the Chestnut-capped Piha Reserve (ProAves) nearby Anorí (Central Andes), Cerro Montezuma (Western Andes) and forests near Manizales.
Cercomacra parkeriFemales are even more furtive and shy than males. This image was taken at Cerro Montezuma (Western Andes).
Cercomacra nigricansUncommon and locally distributed in dry forests of the Cauca & Magdalena Valleys, northern Colombia and eastern slope of the Eastern Andes. Best localized by vocalization, pairs forage low in dense vegetation. Found in Sonso marsh, El Vinculo nature reserve near Buga, La Vega and forests near San Vicente de Chucurí in Santander, among other sites.
Gymnocichla nudicepsA secretive but very vocal bird of mature humid second growth in the northern and western humid forests below 500m. The Santa Marta race (G. n. sanctamartae) is poorly understood. Distributed from Guatemala and Belize south to northern Colombia. Uncommon or fairly common locally, it follows army ants and is often found near water. Image taken at Blue-billed Curassow Reserve (RNA El Paujil) in the mid-Magdalena Valley (foothills of the western slope of the Eastern Andes).
Myrmeciza longipesPresent in the understory of semi-dry & semi-humid montane forests & lowlands, in low & mid-Magdalena Valley, and eastern foothills of the Eastern Andes, below 1800m. Very vocal, especially at mornings, when it hops on the ground and low levels in the interior of the forest. A shy bird that may be difficult to see well. Sometimes found following army ants. Distributed from central Panama to Venezuela, Guyana & nw Brazil. Can be seen in Laguna de Tabacal (La Vega) and Santa Marta Mountains.
Conopophaga castaneicepsLocally present in the understory of subtropical forests in all three Andean ranges, between 1000-1800m. For some reason absent from many stretches of apparently adequate forests. A bird from Colombia, Ecuador & Peru. Pairs or single birds, are easily overlooked. Rather retiring, perches in low branches in the forest understory, sallying for insects in ground or foliage. Can be seen at Chestnut-capped Piha reserve in the northern Central Andes and Bosque de Yotoco in the Cauca Valley.
Grallaria squamigeraA very large, uncommon and difficult to see antpitta of dense bamboo stands and understory between 2200-3800m. It has one of the most intriguing voices of all antpittas. Present in north-western Venezuela and south in the Andes into Bolivia. Can be seen with some luck at Río Blanco, where it has displaced the Bicolored Antpitta from some of the earthworm feeding stations.
Grallaria ruficapillaWithout doubt the most common antpitta in humid pre-montane and montane forests in all three Andean ranges, between 1200 – 3000m. Nonetheless,, arguably the nicest antpitta that can be seen well. A stellar bird at the earthworm feeding stations in Río Blanco (Caldas), much appreciated by all birders.
Grallaria rufocinereaA rare and very difficult antpitta to see. Found in humid forests between 2100 – 3100m in the Central Andes of Colombia and northern Ecuador. Can be seen at Río Blanco (Caldas) searching for earthworms at one of the new antpitta feeding stations.
Grallaria nuchalisNot an uncommon antpitta but extremely shy and hard to see anywhere. Present in humid montane forests of the Central and Western Andes between 2000 – 3000m. Often heard but seldom seen, this photo was taken at Río Blanco (Caldas).
Grallaria rufulaA relatively common but shy and difficult to see antpitta found spottily between 1800-3600m in forest undergrowth of all three Andean ranges of Colombia. Widely distributed from north-western Venezuela south into Bolivia. More often heard than seen, this gracious antpitta can be seen at Chingaza & Los Nevados National Parks. Also present in forests above Jardin in the Western Andes.
Grallaria quitensisA common antpitta found in the Eastern & Central Andes of Colombia between 2200 – 4000m, usually above 3000m. Present in Colombia & south into Peru. The easiest of all antpittas, it has a bold behavior sometimes bumping into birders along trails. It exposes itself in the open paramo as it feeds on floor insects. Sometimes it hops into the branches of shrubs or even fence posts, where it displays its singing repertoire. Can be seen along the trails of the Visitor´s Center at Los Nevados National Park.
Grallaria milleriAn endemic antpitta known only from the Western slope of the Central Andes in Caldas and Quindío. A stellar bird in Río Blanco, it comes very well into earthworm feeding stations.
Grallaria urraoensis (syn. G. fenwickorum)An endemic antpitta known only from cloud forests (2600-2900m) in the northern end of the Western Andes in the state of Antioquia. Can be seen at ProAves’s Colibrí del Sol reserve in the municipality of Urrao, where this image was taken.
Grallaricula ferrugineipectusAn arboreal and small antpitta of foothill & subtropical forests that tolerates disturbed forest, found locally in the Eastern Andes and Santa Marta Mountains between 800-2000m. Present in Colombia, Venezuela, Peru and Bolivia. Uncommon and difficult to see well, it hops in mossy branches and sallies for insects in the lower levels of dense vegetation. Can be seen in the Laguna de Tabacal at La Vega (western slope of the Eastern Andes near Bogota, where this image was taken) and the Santa Marta Mountains.
Grallaricula nanaCommon by voice but always inconspicuous and hard to see, this small antpitta favours dense bamboo thickets in temperate forests between 1900-3300m. Distributed from north-western Venezuela and Colombia (all three Andean ranges) into Ecuador, Bolivia and Peru. Like other antpittas of its genus (Grallaricula), it is somewhat arboreal, hoping in dense vegetation from floor levels up to 2-3m high. Can be seen visiting the earthworm feeding stations in Rio Blanco.
Grallaricula lineifronsA charismatic antpitta known in Colombia only from 3 localities in the Western slope of the Central Andes in Cauca, Quindío and more recently Caldas (buffer zone of Los Nevados National Park). Recently taped in the Eastern slope of the Central Andes in Tolima. This image was taken on July 23 (2011) from a pair of birds seen on a steep forest in the Old Road to Los Nevados at 3310m.
Acropternis orthonyxAn extraordinary bird of well protected forests in the highlands of the Andes from Colombia to Perú, between 2700-3300 meters. Difficult to see, it is even more difficult to photograph well. Can be seen with care and patience in Río Blanco (Caldas) and in La Montaña & Acaime (Salento, Quindío). Also, in Jardín (Antioquia) and some localities of the Eastern Andes.
Scytalopus sanctaemartaeRestricted to the Santa Marta Mountains in Colombia, single birds can be heard vocalizing between 600-1900m in the floor of dense undergrowth.
Scytalopus alvarezlopeziLocally distributed in a small section and narrow belt in the Pacific slope of the Western Andes, in humid forests between 1600-2000m. Described recently, single birds can be heard vocalizing in mature and old second growth forest. Found in Cerro Montezuma (Pueblo Rico, Risaralda) and Las Tangaras reserve (Carmen de Atrato, Chocó).
Scytalopus chocoensisThis near-endemic can be seen in forested cliffs and forest interiors at Cerro Montezuma (Western Andes). Very vocal, it has one of the longest songs among Tapaculos.
Scytalopus stilesiAn endemic Tapaculo described not long ago from humid subtropical forests along the Central Andes between 1400 – 2200m. Can be seen at Otún-Quimbaya Wildlife Sanctuary (above Pereira) and at Los Yarumos Eco-Park in Manizales (Caldas). Also, at La Romera city park (metropolitan area of Medellín).
Scytalopus viciniorFound between 1300-2200m on both slopes of the Western Andes. It occurs higher than the Choco Tapaculo, lower than Spillmann´s Tapaculo and sympatric with Alto Pisones Tapaculo. Can be seen at Kilometro 18 above Cali, Paso Galápagos, Cerro Montezuma and Las Tangaras reserve.
Scytalopus spillmanniAs most tapaculos in Colombia, a hard to see little bird of thick undergrowth and bamboo thickets from where it sings loud and clear. Can be seen (but more frequently heard) in a plural number of sites in all three Andean ranges of Colombia but especially at Río Blanco and the road to Ventanas´s Pass above Jardín.
Scytalopus griseicollis griseicollisA relatively common tapaculo of upper forests between 2000-3300m in the Eastern Andes of Colombia & north-western Venezuela. Easier to see on native forests around Bogota.
Scytalopus opacusThe Paramo Tapaculo has been split recently (2010) from the Scytalopus canus (Paramillo Tapaculo), this last taxon now restricted to the northern end of the Western Andes of Colombia (thus becoming and endemic). Can be seen at stunted forest & timberline in Los Nevados National Park above the city of Manizales in the Central Andes, from where it distributes south in the Andes into Ecuador & Peru.
Phyllomyias nigrocapillusUncommon in subtropical and temperate forest between 1600-3400m in the three Andean ranges, feeding in the subcanopy as a member of mix flocks. Can be seen in Rio Blanco, Paramo de Guasca, Chingaza National Park and forests above Jardin, among other sites.
Pseudocolopteryx acutipennisA rare bird found only on reedbeds of Andean lakes and marshes betweenf 1500 to 2600 meters, where it is difficult to spot. Distributed from Colombia south into Paraguay and Argentina. Some authors have proposed that birds found from Colombia to Perú are austral migrants. This image was taken at the marsh of La Florida Park in the vicinity of the El Dorado International Airport in Bogotá.
Pseudotriccus pelzelniA dark and inconspicuous little bird of dense undergrowth in subtropical forests between 600-2500m in the three Andean ranges. Present in Panama, Colombia, Ecuador & Peru. More easily seen at Las Tangaras reserve. Also, in Otún-Quimbaya Wildlife Sanctuary, where it is uncommon.
Leptopogon rufipectusA medium-sized flycatcher that regularly follows mixed flocks at low and mid-heights in montane forests of the 3 Andean ranges, between 1600 – 2800m. Present in Venezuela, Colombia, Ecuador and Perú. More easily seen in Otún-Quimbaya Wildlife Sanctuary (Pereira) and Río Blanco (Caldas).
Inezia tenuirostrisA near-endemic tyrannulet of north-western Venezuela and northern Colombia in La Guajira Peninsula. Common in dry forest, arid scrub and shrubby vegetation at sea level. Can be seen around Riohacha and at Los Flamencos Wildlife Sanctuary (town of Camarones) in La Guajira.
An uncommon bird of dense montane forest between 1800-3500m in all three Andean ranges and the Santa Marta Mountains. Present at Río Blanco (Central Andes), forests above Jardin and at “La M” in the Western Andes, and El Dorado nature reserve in Santa Marta.
Poecilotriccus ruficepsThis gorgeous and tiny flycatcher favors bamboo stands and bushes in montane forests of all three Andean ranges, between 1500-2700m. Usually in pairs and inconspicuous, but not shy. Detectable when song is learned. Can be seen in Río Blanco and in the old road to Los Nevados National Park.
Todirostrum nigricepsSpottily distributed in humid forest, second growth and pastures with isolated trees (<1000m) of the pacific slope of the Western Andes (rare), northern Colombia in low & mid-Magdalena Valley (more common), southwestern foothills of the Santa Marta Mountains and eastern slope of the Eastern Andes. Distributed from Costa Rica to Venezuela, Colombia & Ecuador. Forages high in the canopy & midlevels, and vocalizes frequently. Can be seen in the Rio Claro canyon and along the road to Puerto Pinzón & Blue-billed Curassow reserve.
Rhynchocyclus olivaceusUncommon in the understory of humid forest <600m in the northern Andes, mid-Magdalena Valley, Perija mountains, foothills of the eastern slope of the Eastern Andes and Amazonia. Distributed from Panama to Bolivia and Brazil. Also, the Guianas. Present in the Rio Claro canyon.
Rhynchocyclus fulvipectusPresent in understory of humid subtropical forest in all three Andean ranges between 500-2000m. From Venezuela south into northern Bolivia. Image taken at Cerro Montezuma in the Western Andes.
Nephelomyias pulcherPresent locally in the subcanopy of humid tropical forest in the three Andean ranges between 1800-2500m. Family groups join mix flocks and move actively while vocalizing. Better seen in the Western Andes at Cerro Montezuma and Las Tangaras nature reserve.
Contopus cooperi (syn. C. borealis)An uncommon northern migrant that breeds in North America and winters in northern South America from Venezuela to Peru and Bolivia. Can be seen perched in snags, sallying for insects and returning to same exposed branch. Sometimes seen frequently in coffee plantations and cloud forests of the Central Andes.
Muscisaxicola alpinusWidely distributed from Colombia south into Chile & Argentina, this uncommon flycatcher hunts for insects with short jumps in the floor of rocky surfaces and Espeletia stands in paramo ecosystems, near treeline and snowline (3200 – 4400m). Found in Colombia in the Eastern & Central Andes, from Boyacá & Caldas south to Ecuador. Can be seen in Los Nevados but at higher altitudes than most sites visited by birding groups. This image was taken in Los Nevados, on the road to Laguna del Otún.
Ochthoeca frontalisAn uncommon and elegant tiny flycatcher of forest undergrowth in temperate forests of Colombia and south in the Andes to Bolivia. Found in all three Andean ranges of Colombia between 2200-3600m. A very shy and difficult bird to encounter, the bird always stays low and hidden at 1-3m height. This image was taken on a stunted forest along the Old Road to Los Nevados at 3,000m.
Myiarchus apicalisThis endemic flycatcher favors forest borders and semi-open forests between 400 – 2300m in middle and upper Cauca Valley & Magdalena Valley, as well as between San Gil (Santander) and Huila. Can be seen at Laguna de Sonso and El Vínculo Regional Park in the municipality of Buga (Valle del Cauca). Also, at Tierra Blanca Private Nature Reserve in Dagua and a plural number of localities within the Cauca Valley.
Pipreola aureopectusA rare and locally distributed bird attached to the subcanopy of subtropical montane forest between 600-2500m. Usually found in pairs that feed independently of mix flocks. Present in Colombia in the Western Andes and northern Central Andes. Also, in the Santa Marta Mountains and northern section of the Eastern Andes, where it is more common. Can be seen at RNA El Dorado in the Santa Marta Mountains, where this image was taken.
Pipreola jucundaAn uncommon gorgeous bird present only in very humid Mountain Choco forests of Colombia & Ecuador between 800-2000m. Can be seen at Cerro Montezuma, where this image was taken.
Ampelioides tschudiiAn uncommon bird found in the Western & Eastern Andes of Colombia between 600-2700m, distributed from north-western Venezuela south in the Andes to Bolivia. Can be seen at Cerro Montezuma and forests above Cali in the Western Andes.
Rupicola peruviana sanguinolentaThis magnificent bird is present in the Western, Central & Eastern Andes, favoring steep forested canyons where they use rocky cliffs for nesting. Frugivorous, they sally for fruits like trogons due. Gregarious, polygamous males gather at specific spots in forest (called leks), displaying with audible calls and short to medium flights, moving up and down the trees. Males carry a permanently erect crest that nearly covers the bill, females have a smaller crest and are entirely brownish. Males of the Western Andes subspecies (R. p. sanguinolenta, this picture) are deep scarlet red, whereas males of the Central & Western Andes subspecies are more orange red. A gorgeous lek can be seen in the outskirts of Jardín (Antioquia). Pairs can be seen in Otún-Quimbaya Sanctuary wandering through the forest.
Pyroderus scutatusThis astonishing bird is a mythical target species for birders traveling to Ecuador, Perú and Venezuela. Much sought but hardly ever seen, it has a geographically vast distribution from Colombia south through the Andes into Argentina, Paraguay and Brazil. A healthy population of this bird is found at the Otún-Quimbaya Wildlife Sanctuary above Pereira (Risaralda). It can also be seen above Queremal in the Western Andes.
Lipaugus weberiAn uncommon inhabitant of well-preserved humid forests of Northern Central Andes and on a very narrow elevational range from 1500 to 1800 meters. Can be seen at ProAves’s Chestnut-capped Piha Reserve near Anorí (Antioquia).
Pachysylvia semibrunneaA rare greenlet from humid forest and second growth between 1000-2100m in the three Andean ranges of Colombia. Present only in north-western Venezuela, Colombia & Ecuador. Previously in the genus Hylophilus. Pairs or family groups frequently join mix groups, where active and vocal. Can be seen in La Romera ecopark (municipality of Sabaneta, near Medellin) and Otún-Quimbaya Wildlife Sanctuary.
Cyanolyca pulchraThis gorgeous jay is found only in North-Western Ecuador and Colombia. In Colombia it is present only at the Pacific slope of the Western Andes between 1000 to 1800 meters where it is difficult to see. This image was taken at Cerro Montezuma near the town of Pueblo Rico (Risaralda). The bird can also be seen at Las Tangaras Reserve (ProAves) in Carmen de Atrato (road to Quibdó).
Cistothorus apolinariRestricted to marshes, lakes and lagoons of the Eastern Andes, from Boyacá south to Páramo de Sumapaz. Requires dense and grassy vegetation. Not easy to see, local populations strive to survive in wetlands within urban Bogotá and the surrounding plateau known as the Sabana de Bogotá. Can be seen at La Florida Wetland near El Dorado International Airport.
Pheugopedius spadixA rather shy and secretive wren that thrives in subtropical forests between 800-2000m in the Western Andes and northern section of the Central Andes. Almost an endemic to Colombia, it is also present in a small portion of eastern Panama at Cerro Tacarcuna. Pairs stay low in dense vegetation; it is said to follow swarms of army ants in search of insects. Can be seen at the Chestnut-capped Piha Resereve (ProAves) north of Medellín.
Henicorhina negretiThis small and marvelous singer is endemic to the Western Andes of Colombia between 2200 – 2700 meters. Easily confused with Grey-breasted Wood-Wren since both species share the same habitat, but song is 100% distinctive. Can be seen above Jardín on the road to Ventanas and at Cerro Montezuma from the sector known as Cajones and above.
Catharus fuscaterA fairly common bird of montane forests in the three Andes between 800-2800m, but seldom seen due to its shy and cryptic behavior. Stays deep into the forest, where it dwells in the lower vegetation and floor. This image was taken at Río Blanco, where it seldom comes into the earthworm feeding stations that attract a fair number of Antpittas.
Sericossypha albocristataMost amazing bird from the Andes, found between 1600 – 3200m at the Central and Eastern Andes of Colombia. Uncommon and somewhat unpredictable, it spreads south into Perú. This species moves rapidly through the canopy of forests in family groups of 3-7 individuals. The very sharp and loud calls are usually the first signal for their presence and the reason for their vernacular name in Spanish – “Pollo de Monte” (forest chicken).
Pseudospingus verticalisAn uncommon and local bird, present at timberline (3000-3600m) in the three Andean ranges of Colombia. Found in northwestern Venezuela south in the Andes to Ecuador and Peru. Previously placed in the genus Hemispingus. Nowhere abundant or reliable, the best place to see this bird is at Chingaza National Park in the Eastern Andes.
Ramphocelus flammigerus flammigerusRecently merged with Lemon-rumped Tanager (Ramphocelus icteronotus) from Western Panama, Colombia & Ecuador. Lemon-rumped Tanagers (now Ramphocelus flammigerus icteronotus) are found bellow 1200m whereas Flame-rumped Tanagers are almost always at higher elevations (1200 – 2200m). The subspecies hybridize on the 800-1200m belt, where deforestation has allowed them to contact each other.
Ramphocelus flammigerus flammigerusA fairly common bird of shrubby areas, gardens and forest edges of the Central Andes and both slopes of the Cauca Valley. Also, the western slope of the Western Andes into the Pacific, where it hybridizes with the Lemon-rumped subspecies. The two subspecies can be seen together at lower elevations of Cerro Montezuma (c. 1200m).
Ramphocelus flammigerus icteronotusA Chocó specialty of the Western Andes that spreads into the northern tip of the Central Andes as other Chocó endemics. A race of Flame-rumped Tanager (Ramphocelus flammigerus flammigerus), it is common and abundant in open fields and plantations, shrubby areas and pastures with scattered trees. Seen easily in Cerro Montezuma.
Bangsia aureocinctaThis beautiful endemic tanager belongs to the fabulous Bangsia subset of Mountain Chocó endemics, all together with the Black-and-gold (Bangsia melanochlamys), Moss-backed (B. edwardsi) and Golden-Chested (B. rothschildi) Tanagers. Once thought to be extinct, it can be found at well preserved & very humid mountain forests of Cerro Montezuma in the municipality of Pueblo Rico (Risaralda) or at Paso Galápagos (municipality of El Cairo) between 1700 -2100m.
Bangsia aureocinctaFemales are somewhat paler than males. This photo was taken at 1800m in Cerro Montezuma (in the sector known as “Cajones”). Gold-ringed Tanagers are seen at slightly higher altitudes than Black-and-gold Tanagers (E & VU) at Cerro Montezuma.
Chlorornis riefferiiAn outstanding member of mixed flocks in cloud forests between 1700 – 3300m in the three Andean ranges of Colombia and south through the Andes into Bolivia. Common at specific sites but absent from other “good looking” forests for the species, it can be seen in Río Blanco, Jardín and above Salento.
Iridosornis porphyrocephalusA near-endemic and gorgeous bird of Mountain Chocó (Western Andes) and the northern end of the Central Andes. Present locally between 1500 – 2300m in “mossy” (super-humid) montane forest, at low or mid-heigths, can be seen foraging on small berries and insects, alone, in pairs or with mixed flocks. Present at Cerro Montezuma (Tatamá), above Jardín and at the Chestnut-capped Piha Reserve in Anorí.
Iridosornis rufivertexA gorgeous tanager of mountainous forests (2300 – 3800m) and treeline vegetation in the 3 Andean ranges, spreading from north-western Venezuela south into Ecuador and Perú. Can be seen in the buffer zone of Los Nevados National Park and above Jardín (Antioquia).
Chlorochrysa nitidissimaThis gorgeous tanager is found locally at the Western and Central Andes of Colombia (800 – 2200 meters), where it joins mix flocks as it moves fast and enigmatically along the canopy. Can be seen in forest remnants above Cali, Otún-Quimbaya Wildlife Sanctuary and Chestnut-capped Piha Reserve near Anorí.
Tangara vitriolinaA common Tanager from open and disturbed areas in central Colombia and north-western Ecuador. In Colombia it has a wide distribution in both inter-Andean Valleys (Cauca & Magdalena Valleys), Dagua & Patía Valleys. By some, regarded as a sub-race of the widely distributed Burnished-buff Tanager (T. cayana) from the Guianas, Venezuela, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, Brazil, Bolivia, Argentina and Paraguay.
Dacnis hartlaubiA rather uncommon and truly gorgeous bird. Found with mixed flocks in humid forests of the Western, Central and Eastern Andes below 1200m. Widely distributed throughout the Guianas, Venezuela, Ecuador, Bolivia and Brazil. Can be seen in the Cañón de Río Claro area and Victoria (Magdalena Valley).