Colombia is the birdiest country on earth, with more than 1,950 species (almost 20% of the world’s total). There are more species of birds in this country than on any other. It is easy to see why. Colombia is tropical, yet it also has ample elevation changes due to the Andes, furthermore it has both the Pacific and Caribbean coasts. The Andes become complex in Colombia, splitting into three ranges, which increases habitat diversity, as well as rain shadow valleys between the mountains. Colombia also comprises a vast portion of the amazon and the Orinoquia region. Lots of different habitats ensure an abundance of bird species.
The tour begins in the city of Barranquilla, on Colombia’s Caribbean coast. The Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta is the highest coastal mountain in the world and one of the most important endemism centers in the world, with 22 species of birds restricted to it. Join us on a search for many of these endemics including Santa Marta Screech-owl, Antpitta, Mountain-tanager, Tapaculo, Foliage-gleaner, Brush-finch, Parakeet, Sabrewing, Bush-tyrant, Seedeater, Warbler, and a plethora more!
This trip will also take us to Isla Salamanca and Flamencos National Parks, where birding through mangroves and coastal wetlands, along the ocean and in dry scrub forest should yield species such as the near endemic Buffy Hummingbird, the endemic Chestnut-winged Chachalaca, Russet-throated Puffbird, the near endemic Chestnut Piculet, Bicolored Conebill and Panama Flycatcher.
The last stop on the tour is the Sierra de Perijá, the Holy Grail for birders interested in Colombia’s birds. This isolated offshoot of the Eastern Andes forms the border with Venezuela and and is one of the least explored areas in Colombia.
Please watch this excellent presentation by Dan Scheimman of Arkansas Audubon featuring our Northern Colombia trip last year!
Photo Santa Marta Brushfinch by F. Davis