Explore the Colombian Andes on this 10-day trip for an assortment of endemics and other range-restricted birds.
Colombia hosts the highest diversity of bird species of any country in the world with just under 2,000, which is about 20% of the total bird diversity of the world! The nation’s complex geography offers a wide variety of ecosystems, leading to a high level of speciation, especially in the mountainous regions. Here, the Colombian Andes are made up of 3 distinct, isolated branches interspersed by deep valleys carved by the Magdalena and Cauca Rivers. Our tour takes us through the Central and Western areas of this endemic-rich region, where we explore the moorlands, lush cloud forests, dry forests of inter-Andean valleys, and rain forests for a dazzling assortment of tanagers, hummingbirds, antpittas, toucans, jays, and more.
Starting in Medellin we explore the small but excellent La Romera Reserve, where we should see such endemics as Red-bellied Grackle, Stile's Tapaculo, Colombian Chachalaca, and Yellow-headed Manakin. In Jardin, we visit the Yellow-eared Parrot reserve, yet another endemic, and where we also hope to find Black-billed Mountain-Toucan, Yellow-vented Woodpecker, Chestnut-crested Cotinga, Sword-billed Hummingbird, and the fabulously named Lachrymose Mountain-Tanager. On route to Manizales, we visit a Cock-of-the-Rock lek on small farm, and will enjoy birding our way through Colombia's coffee region. No trip to the area is complete without a visit to Rio Blanco's famed Antpitta feeders, where we hope to see Brown-banded, Bicolored, Chestnut-crowned, and Slate-crowned Antpittas. In the sub-paramo and moorlands of Nevado del Ruiz National Park, we look for things like Buffy Helmetcrest, Rainbow-bearded Thornbill, Buff-winged Starfrontlet, and Black-thighed Puffleg. Our tour wraps up with 2 days spent in the incredible Montezuma Reserve, located on the Western Andes, where we hope to add more tanagers, Velvet-purple Coronet, Golden-headed Quetzal, and Black Solitaire, among many others to our list.