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Field Guides Tour Report
Colombia: The Cauca Valley and the Western and Central Andes I 2014
Feb 8, 2014 to Feb 24, 2014
Richard Webster & Daniel Uribe

Bearded Helmetcrest inhabits the paramo, our views depending on our luck with the weather and the flowers; we were fortunate with both, and enjoyed superb views of a "Buffy" (as this subspecies may become known) Helmetcrest at P.N. Los Nevados. (Photo by guide Richard Webster)

We were fortunate with the weather. Western Colombia is one of the world's wettest spots, and we managed to slip in between most of the wetter events, losing relatively little time to rain. We ended up inside the clouds a few times, which frustrated some birding, but overall our tour dates happened to be a great window to slip into Colombia's amazing Andes.

And amazing they were, with a rich assortment of forest birds as we zigged and zagged our way back and forth across the Cauca Valley from Cali to Medellin. Along the way we saw a few marshes and ponds, and checked out a few open areas, while concentrating on the rich forests of the Andean slopes.

After a morning around Buga, where we started our list of endemics with Grayish Piculet and Apical Flycatcher, we moved to Cerro Montezuma, where we were hosted by Leopoldina and her family on the slopes of Cerro Montezuma. We were fortunate that the road was good enough to make it to the top (which is not to say that the road was good!), and that it was clear enough to enjoy the views of the even more massive Cerro Tatama, the center feature of an impressive national park in the montane Choco. Birding on Cerro Montezuma was uncharacteristically slow, but with patience we found the higher elevation specialties such as Gold-ringed Tanager, Munchique Wood-Wren, Chestnut-bellied Flower-piercer, and Tanager Finch. Lower down we missed some species (most of which we found elsewhere, later), but also had some nice finds, including Scaled Fruiteater, Olive Finch, the undescribed tapaculo, Choco (Golden-bellied Warbler),Glistening-green Tanager, Black-chinned Mountain-Tanager, and Crested Ant-Tanager. The feeders around the lodge were fun, with Silver-throated and other tanagers coming for bananas, and a fine assortment of hummingbirds, including bold Empress Brilliants and White-tailed Hillstars sharing the dining area with us.

A night at the forest reserve of Otun-Quimbaya gave us time for a variety of forest birds, particularly including the endangered Cauca Guan and the lovely (and amazingly conspicuous) Red-ruffed Fruitcrow, although a Multicolored Tanager slipped painfully away. We birded our way to Manizales via some good ponds near Cameguadua, and had a nice night in town before ascending to the paramo around Parque Nacional Los Nevados. Our morning at and above treeline was especially good for hummingbirds, the list of goodies including Bearded Helmetcrest, Black-thighed and Golden-breasted Pufflegs, Rainbow-bearded Helmetcrest, Viridian Metaltail, Great Sapphirewing, and Buff-winged Starfrontlet. A bold Tawny Antpitta was much enjoyed, and other species included Stout-billed Cinclodes, Scarlet-bellied Mountain-Tanager, Andean Tit-Spinetail, and Blue-backed Conebill.

Two nights at one of Manizales' watershed reserves, Rio Blanco, was a treat in many ways, starting with the ability to bird by walking out the door. Actually, it started on the verandah, where the feeders attracted a lovely variety. The greatest treat was the antpitta feeding program, and we were fortunate to see four species that way: Brown-banded, Bicolored, Slate-crowned, and Chestnut-crowned, the last especially bold. Rio Blanco was very birdy on this visit, and we saw a number of good mixed flocks, and located several specialties, including Masked Saltator, Golden-plumed Parakeet, Rusty-faced Parrot, Powerful Woodpecker, and Black-billed Mountain-Toucan.

A long drive took us to the northern end of the Western Andes, where we started at ProAves' RNA (Reserva Natural de las Aves) Las Tangaras, our second visit to the montane Choco. Like Cerro Montezuma, it seemed quiet, but we steadily added new birds, including Choco Vireo, Fulvous-dotted Treerunner, Black-and-gold Tanager, Indigo Flowerpiercer, a roosting Lyre-tailed Nightjar, and noisy Toucan Barbets, and we also enjoyed repeat encounters with Olivaceous Piha, Glistening-green and Purplish-mantled tanagers, and many others characteristic of the west slope cloud forest. Two sets of feeders provided fine views of stunning hummingbirds such as Violet-tailed Sylph and Velvet-purple Coronet and tanagers such as Flame-rumped. Nearby Jardin, with its great show of Andean Cocks-of-the-Rock, was our base for a day up the adjacent ridge, a day that was to be marred by heavy fog, seriously muting the colors of the fly-by Yellow-eared Parrots, but not without some good birds, including Ocellated Tapaculo, Chestnut-crested Cotinga, Glowing Puffleg, and Sword-billed Hummingbird.

Continuing across the Cauca Valley after a morning at Morro Amarillo, we stopped in dry woodland to see Antioquia Wren, only described a couple of years ago, before reaching Medellin, where the regional park La Romera was birdy and had several highlights: The fabulous Red-bellied Grackle, the seldom-seen Yellow-headed Manakin, the endemic Stiles' Tapaculo, and a wintering Golden-winged Warbler. Our final destination was ProAves' RNA Arrierito Antioqueno, a.k.a. the Piha Reserve. Action at the feeders in the lodge yard was constant, with a fine selection of hummingbirds and a number of lovers of bananas, including Colombian Chachalaca. The trails required patience and endurance, but there were prizes, including Chestnut Wood-Quail, Lanceolated Monklet, and, for some who made the climb, Chestnut-capped Piha. Birding at lower elevations was good for White-mantled Barbet and Black-headed Brush-Finch, with the bonus of Sooty Ant-Tanager.

Our travel through Colombia was made easy by Daniel and Maggie's arrangements and Jhon's safe driving (and that of several 4WD owners). We appreciated the help of talented local birders, including Alveiro, Jose, Michelle, Uberney, and Gustavo, and capable lodge managers, including Celene, Leopoldina, Noreli, and Daisy. Taxonomy tries to follow Clements (Cornell), with additional comments. Conservation status is drawn from the publications of BirdLife International. Apologies are due to the Spanish language for the omission of many marks that do not translate well across various computer platforms.

One of the following keys may be shown in brackets for individual species as appropriate: * = heard only, I = introduced, E = endemic, N = nesting, a = austral migrant, b = boreal migrant

Tinamidae (Tinamous)
TAWNY-BREASTED TINAMOU (Nothocercus julius) – Heard distantly and briefly above Jardin. [*]
LITTLE TINAMOU (Crypturellus soui) [*]
Anatidae (Ducks, Geese, and Waterfowl)
BLACK-BELLIED WHISTLING-DUCK (Dendrocygna autumnalis) – Common at our one stop in the Buga marshes.
FULVOUS WHISTLING-DUCK (Dendrocygna bicolor) – Smaller number mixed in with the Black-bellied.

Velvet-purple Coronet is endemic to the Montane Choco of western Colombia and Ecuador, and we saw it especially well at feeders at RNA Las Tangaras. (Photo by guide Richard Webster)

TORRENT DUCK (Merganetta armata) – After several stops to look, we found a stunning female along the road--a classic setting on a rock in the rushing Rio Otun.
BLUE-WINGED TEAL (Anas discors) – Wintering birds were common near Buga and at Cameguadua. [b]
CINNAMON TEAL (Anas cyanoptera) – A few near Buga and Cartago; a scarce, resident subspecies.
ANDEAN TEAL (Anas andium) – One was on a pond at Los Nevados. The northern part of the split of Speckled Teal.
RUDDY DUCK (ANDEAN) (Oxyura jamaicensis ferruginea) – We saw three on the same pond at Los Nevados; an Andean subspecies.
Cracidae (Guans, Chachalacas, and Curassows)
COLOMBIAN CHACHALACA (Ortalis columbiana) – First heard, next seen at La Romera, and then seen very well, including a couple of young birds, at the Piha Reserve. As split from Speckled Chachalaca. [E]
CAUCA GUAN (Penelope perspicax) – The Otun-Quimbaya reserve was again great for this species, although it took some time to find our first and then to get good looks. It is considered "Endangered," with a population of 250-1,000. [E]
WATTLED GUAN (Aburria aburri) – Heard daily at the Piha Reserve, where the far-carrying sounds were clearly audible as we ate breakfast and again in the evening, but we did not get lucky and stumble into one, nor were we close enough to one to make a focused effort. It is considered "Near Threatened."
SICKLE-WINGED GUAN (Chamaepetes goudotii) – Heard, and then seen sailing over near Medellin.
Odontophoridae (New World Quail)

Birding one of the tracks at Rio Blanco, between where we saw the Black-billed Mountain-Toucans and the Masked Trogon (Photo by guide Richard Webster)

CHESTNUT WOOD-QUAIL (Odontophorus hyperythrus) – The ProAves wood-quail feeder, secluded back in the forest, worked wonderfully well, as six hungry birds rushed in to eat, right on schedule! Good views of an endemic that is a real challenge to see otherwise. This wood-quail is considered "Near Threatened." [E]
Podicipedidae (Grebes)
LEAST GREBE (Tachybaptus dominicus) – One at Cameguadua.
PIED-BILLED GREBE (Podilymbus podiceps) – At Buga, Cartago, and Cameguadua, where we saw a juvenile. [N]
Phalacrocoracidae (Cormorants and Shags)
NEOTROPIC CORMORANT (Phalacrocorax brasilianus)
Ardeidae (Herons, Egrets, and Bitterns)
COCOI HERON (Ardea cocoi) – This attractive relative of Great Blue was feeding in the Buga Marshes.
GREAT EGRET (Ardea alba) – Scattered small numbers (including at a trout farm above Jardin!), plus common in a couple of larger marshes and reservoirs.
SNOWY EGRET (Egretta thula) – Ditto.
LITTLE BLUE HERON (Egretta caerulea) – A few in the larger marshes and reservoirs.
CATTLE EGRET (Bubulcus ibis) – Widespread in pastures throughout, often with domestic stock.
STRIATED HERON (Butorides striata) – Seen at the Buga marshes, Cameguadua, and the reservoirs north of Medellin.
BLACK-CROWNED NIGHT-HERON (Nycticorax nycticorax) – One at the Cameguadua ponds.
Threskiornithidae (Ibises and Spoonbills)
GLOSSY IBIS (Plegadis falcinellus) – Several flocks in the Buga marshes, some in breeding plumage.
BARE-FACED IBIS (Phimosus infuscatus) – Widespread in the Cauca Valley, in the larger marshes, and in wet pastures and along some of the rivers.
BUFF-NECKED IBIS (Theristicus caudatus) – This ibis is regular in occurrence, but in low numbers and hard to find, so we were very lucky to have a pair fly in and land in a palm above the parking lot at our hotel in Buga.
Cathartidae (New World Vultures)
BLACK VULTURE (Coragyps atratus)
TURKEY VULTURE (Cathartes aura)
Pandionidae (Osprey)

White-tailed Hillstars can be very hard to see well in the wild, but around feeders, such as as Leopoldina's, they become remarkably bold. (Photo by guide Richard Webster)

OSPREY (Pandion haliaetus) – One at the Cameguadua ponds and two more at reservoirs north of Medellin. [b]
Accipitridae (Hawks, Eagles, and Kites)
WHITE-TAILED KITE (Elanus leucurus) – One lovely bird was hovering over a grassy slope above the Cameguadua ponds.
SWALLOW-TAILED KITE (Elanoides forficatus) – Several were hunting over the forests at the Piha Reserve.
BLACK HAWK-EAGLE (Spizaetus tyrannus) – Soaring birds were seen first at Las Tangaras and then at the Piha Reserve.
SNAIL KITE (Rostrhamus sociabilis) – Common in the Buga marshes.
DOUBLE-TOOTHED KITE (Harpagus bidentatus) – Great looks at a perched bird on Cerro Montezuma; not a rare raptor, but rarely enjoyed in such a good viewing situation.
SHARP-SHINNED HAWK (PLAIN-BREASTED) (Accipiter striatus ventralis) – Joanne spotted one at Otun-Quimbaya, and another was seen above Jardin.
SAVANNA HAWK (Buteogallus meridionalis) – Joanne saw one from the bus in pastures along the Rio Porce.
BARRED HAWK (Morphnarchus princeps) – Daniel and Sue saw one soaring above the road at RNA Las Tangaras.
ROADSIDE HAWK (Rupornis magnirostris) – Seen on a majority of days, and often heard.
BLACK-CHESTED BUZZARD-EAGLE (Geranoaetus melanoleucus) – Two birds glided by during at stop in the paramo at P.N. Los Nevados.
BROAD-WINGED HAWK (Buteo platypterus) – A regular winterer in the Andes, with sightings of five adults from 1700 to 2700m on Cerro Montezuma, Rio Blanco, RNA Las Tangaras, Morro Amarillo, and La Romera. [b]
Rallidae (Rails, Gallinules, and Coots)
WHITE-THROATED CRAKE (Laterallus albigularis) [*]
RUSSET-CROWNED CRAKE (Anurolimnas viridis) – A frequently-heard voice from the dense grass of cleared areas at the Piha Reserve. [*]

This pair of Blackish Rails was calm enough to allopreen in the open. (Photo by guide Richard Webster)

BLACKISH RAIL (Pardirallus nigricans) – Great views of a pair foraging near the dining area at Cerro Montezuma, and another was seen along the shore at Cameguadua.
PURPLE GALLINULE (Porphyrio martinicus) – At least a dozen in the water hyacinth at the Buga Marshes, and one more at Cameguadua.
COMMON GALLINULE (Gallinula galeata) – Easily seen near Buga and Cameguadua. As split from the Old World Common Moorhen.
AMERICAN COOT (Fulica americana) – A couple at the Buga marshes, and 15 at Cameguadua.
Aramidae (Limpkin)
LIMPKIN (Aramus guarauna) – One distant bird in the Buga marshes.
Recurvirostridae (Stilts and Avocets)
BLACK-NECKED STILT (Himantopus mexicanus) – Small numbers in the Buga marshes.
Charadriidae (Plovers and Lapwings)
SOUTHERN LAPWING (Vanellus chilensis) – This noisy bird was common in cleared areas like pastures; it has greatly expanded following human activities.
Jacanidae (Jacanas)
WATTLED JACANA (Jacana jacana) – Good views of this 'lillytrotter' in the Buga marshes and at the Cameguadua ponds.
Scolopacidae (Sandpipers and Allies)
SPOTTED SANDPIPER (Actitis macularius) – Along the Rio Otun and at the Cameguadua ponds. [b]
SOLITARY SANDPIPER (Tringa solitaria) – Four at the Cameguadua ponds and one at a reservoir on the Rio Porce. [b]
Columbidae (Pigeons and Doves)

To get the right photo angle on Jardin's lovely church, Kurt had to wade through the Feral (Rock) Pigeons! (Photo by guide Richard Webster)

ROCK PIGEON (Columba livia) [I]
PALE-VENTED PIGEON (Patagioenas cayennensis) – A few at Otun-Quimbaya and near Jardin.
BAND-TAILED PIGEON (WHITE-NECKED) (Patagioenas fasciata albilinea) – Common in the Andes, several times in large flocks.
PLUMBEOUS PIGEON (Patagioenas plumbea chapmani) – Heard regularly in the forest at Otun-Quimbaya and RNA Las Tangaras. [*]
RUDDY PIGEON (Patagioenas subvinacea) – Heard in forest at the Piha Reserve. [*]
EARED DOVE (Zenaida auriculata) – Widespread in towns and along the highways.
RUDDY GROUND-DOVE (Columbina talpacoti) – Common in the area, but we don't bird low, open areas all that much, so we only saw a few.
WHITE-TIPPED DOVE (Leptotila verreauxi) – One by chance at a reservoir along the Rio Porce.
WHITE-THROATED QUAIL-DOVE (Geotrygon frenata) – A distant voice in the forest on Cerro Montezuma, at RNA Las Tangaras, and on Morro Amarillo. [*]
Cuculidae (Cuckoos)
SQUIRREL CUCKOO (Piaya cayana) – Several seen well, including an especially confiding bird below the Piha Reserve.
STRIPED CUCKOO (Tapera naevia) – A responsive individual ended up perching on a utility wire right over us at Cameguadua, and another was heard north of Medellin.
SMOOTH-BILLED ANI (Crotophaga ani) – Widespread in disturbed areas at lower and middle elevations.
Strigidae (Owls)
TROPICAL SCREECH-OWL (Megascops choliba) [*]
CLOUD-FOREST PYGMY-OWL (Glaucidium nubicola) – Heard in the forest at RNA Las Tangaras, but if it responded, we did not hear or see it do so. It is considered "Vulnerable." [*]
ANDEAN PYGMY-OWL (Glaucidium jardinii) – A responsive bird at Los Nevados flew right by us, but perched out of sight down the slope.
Caprimulgidae (Nightjars and Allies)
LESSER NIGHTHAWK (Chordeiles acutipennis) – We had a roosting nighthawk at Cameguadua; from examination of the photographs, it looks like a Lesser (a resident population), not a Common as we first assumed.
COMMON PAURAQUE (Nyctidromus albicollis) – Calling outside of Leopoldina's. [*]

We saw this female Lyre-tailed Nightjar thanks to the staff at RNA Las Tangaras, who knew the location of this roost. (Photo by guide Richard Webster)

LYRE-TAILED NIGHTJAR (Uropsalis lyra) – We were the beneficiaries of a known roost on a roadcut at RNA Las Tangaras, and enjoyed fabulous views of the female.
Apodidae (Swifts)
WHITE-COLLARED SWIFT (Streptoprocne zonaris) – We did not see many swifts on this trip, despite enough low clouds to keep swifts out of the stratosphere. This huge species was seen regularly the second half of the trip, particularly at the Piha Reserve.
GRAY-RUMPED SWIFT (Chaetura cinereiventris) – A few distant birds at RNA Las Tangaras.
Trochilidae (Hummingbirds)
WHITE-NECKED JACOBIN (Florisuga mellivora) – Daily at the feeders at the Piha Reserve, with great looks at the gorgeous male and the very different, very patterned female.
WHITE-TIPPED SICKLEBILL (Eutoxeres aquila) – One of this forest hummingbird made two visits to a stalk of heliconia flowers along the trail at RNA Las Tangaras; good views of this difficult species.
GREEN HERMIT (Phaethornis guy) – One was working on a nest at Morro Amarillo outside of Jardin on 19 February, and another was seen at the Piha Reserve. [N]
TAWNY-BELLIED HERMIT (Phaethornis syrmatophorus) – Several were seen at RNA Las Tangaras, including one visiting the same heliconia as the Sicklebill was using.
STRIPE-THROATED HERMIT (Phaethornis striigularis) – One was seen along the road below the Piha Reserve on our last morning.
GREEN-FRONTED LANCEBILL (Doryfera ludovicae) – Good views of several visiting in characteristic fashion the little cascade at the Piha Reserve, including hovering for insects.
GREEN VIOLETEAR (Colibri thalassinus) – Good views of birds visiting feeders outside of Manizales and at Rio Blanco.
SPARKLING VIOLETEAR (Colibri coruscans) – Several at feeders outside of Manizales.
BLACK-THROATED MANGO (Anthracothorax nigricollis) – One of this lowland species was seen at Cameguadua, and one or two females were regular at the feeders at the Piha reserve.
TOURMALINE SUNANGEL (Heliangelus exortis) – Common at upper elevations, seen on Cerro Montezuma, at Rio Blanco, and above Jardin (Las Ventanas).

Crimson-rumped Toucanet was a bonus while watching hummingbirds at the RNA Las Tangaras feeders. (Photo by guide Richard Webster)

SPECKLED HUMMINGBIRD (Adelomyia melanogenys) – A few quickly in the wild, and lengthy views in the garden at Rio Blanco.
LONG-TAILED SYLPH (Aglaiocercus kingi) – We enjoyed two spectacular sylphs, this one best in the Central Andes in the Manizales area, including the feeders at Rio Blanco.
VIOLET-TAILED SYLPH (Aglaiocercus coelestis) – A specialty of the montane Choco of Ecuador and Colombia, we had great views of the spectacular tail and small gorget and frontlet, first on Cerro Montezuma and then at RNA Las Tangaras.
PURPLE-BACKED THORNBILL (Ramphomicron microrhynchum) – One male below P.N. Los Nevados was seen briefly by one or two.
RAINBOW-BEARDED THORNBILL (Chalcostigma herrani) – We saw several on our Los Nevados day. Although no crippling view of a male, we had good looks, including at a female perched at length in a shrub right in front of us.
BEARDED HELMETCREST (Oxypogon guerinii stuebelii) – One of the (many!) highlights of the trip, our views of foraging and perched birds at P.N. Los Nevados, including the male that perched for so long, turning this way and that, stretching, spreading its tail, . . . . A recent paper proposed splitting this species into four, with this subspecies becoming Buffy Helmetcrest.
TYRIAN METALTAIL (Metallura tyrianthina) – Regular at high elevations, including Cerro Montezuma, Los Nevados, Rio Blanco, and above Jardin.
VIRIDIAN METALTAIL (Metallura williami) – Several were in the treeline habitats at Los Nevados.
GREENISH PUFFLEG (Haplophaedia aureliae) – This puffleg of middle-elevation forests was seen at RNA Las Tangaras (where happily using the feeders), La Romera, and the Piha Reserve. Good views at the feeders; a bird that can be hard to observe at length inside the forest.
GLOWING PUFFLEG (Eriocnemis vestita paramillo) – Two at Las Ventanas above Jardin were a good find at flowers; this subspecies is restricted to the northern end of the Western Andes, and seems clinal toward two other species (Gorgeted, Black-breasted) to the south.
BLACK-THIGHED PUFFLEG (Eriocnemis derbyi) – A good find, although known from the slopes of Los Nevados where we saw them. A local bird of northern Ecuador and Colombia. It is considered "Near Threatened."
GOLDEN-BREASTED PUFFLEG (Eriocnemis mosquera) – In the same areas at Los Nevados as the Black-thighed; a couple of good, quick looks.

A gorgeous bird, the Green-crowned Brilliant is hard to see in the wild, but it offered us stunning looks at the feeders at RNA Arrierito. (Photo by guide Richard Webster)

SHINING SUNBEAM (Aglaeactis cupripennis) – Another of our high-elevation hummers at Los Nevados.
BRONZY INCA (Coeligena coeligena) – Present at several feeders, also seen earning an honest living feeding a red bromeliads in the alders at Rio Blanco.
BROWN INCA (Coeligena wilsoni) – Endemic to the montane Choco; seen well in the wild and at feeders on Cerro Montezuma and at RNA Las Tangaras.
COLLARED INCA (Coeligena torquata) – This showy species was seen repeatedly on Cerro Montezuma, near Manizales, and above Jardin.
BUFF-WINGED STARFRONTLET (Coeligena lutetiae) – A couple were seen in the upper level forest below P.N. Los Nevados.
MOUNTAIN VELVETBREAST (Lafresnaya lafresnayi) – At least two were regular visitors to the feeders at the farm house near Las Ventanas above Jardin.
SWORD-BILLED HUMMINGBIRD (Ensifera ensifera) – One made several visits to the same feeders as the Velvetbreast.
GREAT SAPPHIREWING (Pterophanes cyanopterus) – Kurt spotted one in spectacular, 'slow-motion' (for a hummingbird) hovering flight around some flowering shrubs near treeline below Los Nevados.
BUFF-TAILED CORONET (Boissonneaua flavescens) – A bully at feeders at Rio Blanco and above Jardin, although also quite engaging in their boldness at Rio Blanco, landing without fear within inches of our noses.
VELVET-PURPLE CORONET (Boissonneaua jardini) – This Choco endemic is one of the most spectacular hummingbirds on earth. After a quick one on Cerro Montezuma, we had terrific views at the feeders at RNA Las Tangaras.
BOOTED RACKET-TAIL (Ocreatus underwoodii) – A series of females plus a couple of males; seen at Cerro Montezuma, RNA Las Tangaras, La Romera, and the Piha Reserve.
WHITE-TAILED HILLSTAR (Urochroa bougueri) – We saw the nominate subspecies of the Western Andes ("Rufous-gaped"). Not always easy to see in the wild, we had terrific views around feeders, most notably sharing the dining area at Leopoldina's, the boldest of the bold.
PURPLE-BIBBED WHITETIP (Urosticte benjamini) – We saw one female feeding on flowers along the road at RNA Las Tangaras.
FAWN-BREASTED BRILLIANT (Heliodoxa rubinoides) – First seen in the yard at Otun-Quimbaya, then near Manizales, at Rio Blanco, Las Tangaras, and above Jardin.
GREEN-CROWNED BRILLIANT (Heliodoxa jacula) – A few at Cerro Montezuma, and then spectacular views of the incredible head colors at the feeders at the Piha Reserve.
EMPRESS BRILLIANT (Heliodoxa imperatrix) – Endemic to the montane Choco, and another species difficult to observe in the wild, but easily viewed at feeders. Great views at close range at Cerro Montezuma and RNA Las Tangaras.
WHITE-BELLIED WOODSTAR (Chaetocercus mulsant) – First seen near Manizales, then one or two at Rio Blanco and one at La Romera.
PURPLE-THROATED WOODSTAR (Calliphlox mitchellii) – An uncommon bird of the west, but in good supply at the feeders at Cerro Montezuma, RNA Las Tangaras, and the Piha Reserve. Most males were in eclipse, but one or two at Leopoldina's had full gorgets.
WESTERN EMERALD (Chlorostilbon melanorhynchus melanorhynchus) – We saw several, although often quickly, first at Otun-Quimbaya, then at the Piha Reserve.
WHITE-VENTED PLUMELETEER (Chalybura buffonii) – This lowland species was a bonus at a flowering tree at our lunch spot near the Rio Cauca.

Originally all called Fork-tailed Woodnymph, birds west of the Andes have been split several ways, and now they're partially re-lumped as Crowned Woodnymph. (Photo by guide Richard Webster)

CROWNED WOODNYMPH (Thalurania colombica) – Spectacular! Seen in numbers at the feeders at the Piha Reserve (all males). Violet-crowned and Green-crowned have recently been lumped as Crowned, a decision not contradicted by the purple spots at the rear of the green crowns of the birds we saw!
ANDEAN EMERALD (Amazilia franciae) – A different style of hummingbird with its white underparts, but a real beauty nonetheless, as evidenced by the many at the feeders at the Piha Reserve.
STEELY-VENTED HUMMINGBIRD (Amazilia saucerrottei) – Common and widespread on the lower slopes above the Cauca Valley; often dull and dingy in appearance, in good light at the feeders at the Piha Reserve, the entire underparts are like a coat of glistening green chainmail.
RUFOUS-TAILED HUMMINGBIRD (Amazilia tzacatl) – Always in small numbers, but one of the more widespread hummingbirds we saw on the lower and middle slopes.
Trogonidae (Trogons)
GOLDEN-HEADED QUETZAL (Pharomachrus auriceps) – Despite hearing them on five days, and trying to see them, including use of playback, we never managed a view. [*]
CRESTED QUETZAL (Pharomachrus antisianus) – Heard once at RNA Las Tangaras. [*]
COLLARED TROGON (Trogon collaris) – Heard at Otun-Quimbaya several times, and good views for part of the group at the Piha Reserve.
MASKED TROGON (Trogon personatus assimilis) – Nydia spotted a male of this western subspecies in the forest along the trail at RNA Las Tangaras.
MASKED TROGON (Trogon personatus temperatus) – Excellent views in the telescope of one male at Rio Blanco.
Momotidae (Motmots)
ANDEAN MOTMOT (Momotus aequatorialis) – It took a while after hearing them at Otun-Quimbaya, but we did see them, most memorably the one perched at close range on the gate on the way up Morro Amarillo, also some good views at the Piha Reserve.
Alcedinidae (Kingfishers)
RINGED KINGFISHER (Megaceryle torquata) – A couple were fishing around the ponds at Cameguadua.
Bucconidae (Puffbirds)
LANCEOLATED MONKLET (Micromonacha lanceolata) – Widespread, but seldom seen and so always a prize. With Jose's help, we progressively tracked one down at the Piha Reserve, and enjoyed lengthy telescope views.
Capitonidae (New World Barbets)
WHITE-MANTLED BARBET (Capito hypoleucus) – We found our first below the Piha Reserve, and saw more on our way out two days later; several good views of this endemic. It is considered "Near Threatened." [E]
RED-HEADED BARBET (Eubucco bourcierii) – After hearing several, we then saw several, with good views of the striking male and distinctive female.
Semnornithidae (Toucan-Barbets)
TOUCAN BARBET (Semnornis ramphastinus) – They were alive and trumpeting at RNA Las Tangaras, more so than normal. We had several fun encounters with the gaudy plumage and engaging duets. More closely related to the toucans than the barbets, this species is now usually put in its own family. It is considered "Near Threatened."
Ramphastidae (Toucans)
EMERALD TOUCANET (Aulacorhynchus prasinus) – We had some very nice views on Cerro Montezuma and above Jardin (populations approaching A. p. cyanolaemus) and at Rio Blanco (A. p. griseigularis); these populations are split in some lists as "Gray-throated."
CRIMSON-RUMPED TOUCANET (Aulacorhynchus haematopygus) – Great views of one that appeared at close range at RNA Las Tangaras, distracting us from the fine hummingbirds, and two more were seen moving through the canopy at the Piha Reserve.
BLACK-BILLED MOUNTAIN-TOUCAN (Andigena nigrirostris) – We can see this splendid bird at several spots, but sometimes don't see it at all, so we were thrilled to have good looks at a pair at Rio Blanco, thanks to Alveiro.
COLLARED ARACARI (Pteroglossus torquatus) – One on our drive to the Piha Reserve, a lowland bird we don't always bump into.
CHANNEL-BILLED TOUCAN (CITRON-THROATED) (Ramphastos vitellinus citreolaemus) – This was the large toucan we saw on an afternoon foray below the Piha Reserve, generally treated as a subspecies now.
Picidae (Woodpeckers)
OLIVACEOUS PICULET (Picumnus olivaceus) – We saw one with a mixed flock in the forest at the Piha Reserve.
GRAYISH PICULET (Picumnus granadensis) – We had good views of this endemic in the Cauca Valley near Buga on our first morning. [E]
ACORN WOODPECKER (Melanerpes formicivorus) – One on Morro Amarillo; Colombia is the southern end of its long range. The isolated subspecies M. f. flavigula.
RED-CROWNED WOODPECKER (Melanerpes rubricapillus) – A widespread bird of disturbed areas at lower elevations.
RED-RUMPED WOODPECKER (Veniliornis kirkii) – One in dry forest at the wren spot.
YELLOW-VENTED WOODPECKER (Veniliornis dignus) – Colombia seems to be the best place to see this otherwise uncommon Andean bird. We had excellent views at Rio Blanco and twice at RNA Las Tangaras.
GOLDEN-OLIVE WOODPECKER (Colaptes rubiginosus) – Seen well first on Cerro Montezuma, and later at a couple more stops.
CRIMSON-MANTLED WOODPECKER (Colaptes rivolii) – This amazing woodpecker (truly crimson) was enjoyed repeatedly at Rio Blanco.
SPOT-BREASTED WOODPECKER (Colaptes punctigula) – Two were enjoyed (as we enjoyed dessert) after lunch near the Rio Cauca.
LINEATED WOODPECKER (Dryocopus lineatus) – Good views near Buga.

A view from the narrow track that traverses RNA Las Tangaras (Photo by guide Richard Webster)

POWERFUL WOODPECKER (Campephilus pollens) – The scarce upper Andean representative of the genus; good views of one at Rio Blanco.
Falconidae (Falcons and Caracaras)
BARRED FOREST-FALCON (Micrastur ruficollis) [*]
CRESTED CARACARA (Caracara cheriway) – A few in open country north of Medellin.
YELLOW-HEADED CARACARA (Milvago chimachima chimachima) – Common in open country, including along the roads through the Cauca Valley.
MERLIN (Falco columbarius) – One was hunting over the pastures below treeline at Los Nevados. [b]
Psittacidae (Parrots)
GOLDEN-PLUMED PARAKEET (Leptosittaca branickii) – We had wins and losses in the parrot department, and this "Vulnerable" species with a population under 10,000 birds was a real win as we not only encountered it several times, but were able to upgrade perched views in the neblina to tremendous telescope views in sunlight at Rio Blanco.
SCARLET-FRONTED PARAKEET (Aratinga wagleri wagleri) – A few fly-bys near Jardin.
YELLOW-EARED PARROT (Ognorhynchus icterotis) – Not such a win! It could be written up that they were amazingly close, but you know the truth, that the neblina was equally close, and they looked kind of . . . gray. We heard them several more times, but never enjoyed a fun look at this "Endangered" species.
BARRED PARAKEET (Bolborhynchus lineola) – Heard in flight going by a couple of times. [*]
SPECTACLED PARROTLET (Forpus conspicillatus) – Not endemic, but a limited range. We had some very nice looks near Buga, again at Cameguadua, and (not so nice) perched in the clouds below the Piha Reserve.
RUSTY-FACED PARROT (Hapalopsittaca amazonina) – This uncommon species was seen at Rio Blanco, where they perched in a tree overhead, but did not stay long enough for the telescope views we were envisioning! It is considered "Vulnerable."
SPECKLE-FACED PARROT (Pionus tumultuosus) – Good views in flight several times at Otun-Quimbaya.
BLUE-HEADED PARROT (Pionus menstruus) – Seen well near Buga.
BRONZE-WINGED PARROT (Pionus chalcopterus) – Several views in flight, but only for a couple of folks perched, and briefly at that.
Thamnophilidae (Typical Antbirds)
RUFOUS-RUMPED ANTWREN (Euchrepomis callinota) – We found them with a couple of mixed flocks at RNA Las Tangaras, where a male of this canopy species put on a real show at eye level.
GREAT ANTSHRIKE (Taraba major) – While the male was a coward, the striking female put on a fine show--good looks at this widespread species.

This male Bar-crested Antshrike is sunning on a plantain at RNA Arrierito, perhaps to reduce its parasite load. (Photo by guide Richard Webster)

BAR-CRESTED ANTSHRIKE (Thamnophilus multistriatus) – A "yard bird" at the Piha reserve, where we saw both male and female on a couple of occasions. [E]
BLACK-CROWNED ANTSHRIKE (Thamnophilus atrinucha) – A.k.a. Western Slaty-Antshrike, what we called it at the time, but it has yet a newer name. While looking for the Antioquia Wren, we heard a couple of pairs and eventually saw one in the dry forest above the Rio Cauca.
UNIFORM ANTSHRIKE (Thamnophilus unicolor) – Two pairs were seen along the trail at RNA Las Tangaras.
PLAIN ANTVIREO (Dysithamnus mentalis) [*]
YELLOW-BREASTED ANTWREN (Herpsilochmus axillaris) – One of this canopy antwren was seen with a mixed flock at RNA Las Tangaras, and another heard the next day. It is considered "Vulnerable."
WHITE-FRINGED ANTWREN (SOUTHERN) (Formicivora grisea hondae) – A pair was seen in the understory of dry forest at the wren spot. Note the subspecies; a split is possible in this species.
STREAK-HEADED ANTBIRD (Drymophila striaticeps) – After hearing them on Cerro Montezuma, we had good views in the bamboo at Rio Blanco. A split from Long-tailed Antbird (this is the widespread split, occurring from Colombia to Peru).
PARKER'S ANTBIRD (Cercomacra parkeri) – A very cooperative individual of this recently-described skulker was seen at Otun-Quimbaya, and more were heard at the Piha reserve. As split from Dusky Antbird. [E]
Grallariidae (Antpittas)
UNDULATED ANTPITTA (Grallaria squamigera) – Heard at Rio Blanco and above Jardin; we made a modest try for the former, but it did not budge (that we could see). [*]
MOUSTACHED ANTPITTA (Grallaria alleni) – Heard rather distantly a couple of times at Otun-Quimbaya. It is considered "Vulnerable." [*]
PLAIN-BACKED ANTPITTA (Grallaria haplonota) – A couple heard distantly on Cerro Montezuma. [*]

Chestnut-crowned Antpitta is becoming truly bold, emerging from the forest to get bonus worms before Alveiro even gets to the feeding station. (Photo by guide Richard Webster)

CHESTNUT-CROWNED ANTPITTA (Grallaria ruficapilla) – Amazingly bold at Rio Blanco, where they don't just come to the feeding station, they come out to the road to greet you! A wonderful show.
BICOLORED ANTPITTA (Grallaria rufocinerea) – Not quite an endemic, but a real specialty, and it was a real challenge at Rio Blanco, but eventually came in very nicely! It is considered "Vulnerable."
CHESTNUT-NAPED ANTPITTA (Grallaria nuchalis) – Heard at several spots. Although it sometimes comes for worms at Rio Blanco, it had been some months since an habituated bird was around, and our several attempts to bring one in failed. [*]
YELLOW-BREASTED ANTPITTA (Grallaria flavotincta) – Cerro Montezuma and Las Tangaras. [*]
RUFOUS ANTPITTA (Grallaria rufula) – Heard at Los Nevados and again above Jardin, where we worked on one, which was seen briefly by only two in the group.
TAWNY ANTPITTA (Grallaria quitensis) – What a star! A relatively easy antpitta at which we had great looks at Los Nevados.
BROWN-BANDED ANTPITTA (Grallaria milleri) – Again thanks to Alveiro, the feeding program at Rio Blanco brought this bird in to our feet, an endemic that otherwise can be a real challenge. It is considered "Vulnerable." [E]
SLATE-CROWNED ANTPITTA (Grallaricula nana) – It was great to see this little one so well, also coming for worms at Rio Blanco.
Rhinocryptidae (Tapaculos)
OCELLATED TAPACULO (Acropternis orthonyx) – After struggling and largely failing at Rio Blanco (twice!), we had a fabulous view of a calling bird on the ridge high above Jardin. What a different genus from the gray mice to follow.
ASH-COLORED TAPACULO (Myornis senilis) – This mouse was heard well at Rio Blanco, and was glimpsed, mostly naked eye, there.
BLACKISH TAPACULO (Scytalopus latrans) – After trying to see a couple, we found a responsive one that moved back and forth nicely, a nice break during our Masked Saltator vigil at Rio Blanco.
WHITE-CROWNED TAPACULO (Scytalopus atratus confusus) – One of our best tapaculo encounters was with this bird at the Piha reserve, where a pair moved around nicely on a bank just across from us. Note the subspecies; this species is likely to be split someday. a.k.a. Northern White-crowned.
STILES'S TAPACULO (Scytalopus stilesi) – Heard at length at several spots, and we managed some quick, OK views at La Romera outside of Medellin. [E]
NARINO TAPACULO (Scytalopus vicinior) – Heard on Cerro Montezuma and seen at Las Tangaras, though views from the trail were quick and mostly naked eye (it was that close, and repeatedly that fast!).
SPILLMANN'S TAPACULO (Scytalopus spillmanni) [*]
PARAMO TAPACULO (Scytalopus opacus) – Fairly cooperative in the treeline scrub at Los Nevados.

Brown-banded Antpitta is another antpitta that comes for worms, allowing even point-and-shoot photos of birds at your feet. (Photo by guide Richard Webster)

TAPACULO (NEW SPECIES) (Scytalopus sp. nov. 1) – This undescribed taxon is informally known as Alto Pisones (for a nearby locality from which it is known) Tapaculo, we saw one on Cerro Montezuma, and heard more at RNA Las Tangaras. It would seem mostly closely related to Stiles's Tapaculo, and is the subject of ongoing research in Colombia. [E]
Formicariidae (Antthrushes)
RUFOUS-BREASTED ANTTHRUSH (Formicarius rufipectus) – We were working on one, with limited hope, and gave up when a Scaled Fruiteater made a delayed response to playback. [*]
Furnariidae (Ovenbirds and Woodcreepers)
STRONG-BILLED WOODCREEPER (Xiphocolaptes promeropirhynchus) – We had great views of a pair traveling with a mixed flock at Otun-Quimbaya.
COCOA WOODCREEPER (Xiphorhynchus susurrans) – We had nice views of a pair in woodland near Buga our first morning.
OLIVE-BACKED WOODCREEPER (Xiphorhynchus triangularis) – Seen in mid-elevation forest at three of our stops.
BROWN-BILLED SCYTHEBILL (Campylorhamphus pusillus) – A pair was seen by part of the group foraging overhead with a mixed flock at the Piha Reserve.
STREAK-HEADED WOODCREEPER (Lepidocolaptes souleyetii) – Seen well near Buga our first morning.
MONTANE WOODCREEPER (Lepidocolaptes lacrymiger) – Several sightings, generally with flocks, at Otun-Quimbaya and Rio Blanco.
STREAKED XENOPS (Xenops rutilans) – Seen first with a mixed flock at Rio Blanco, and again at Morro Amarillo and the Piha Reserve.
BUFFY TUFTEDCHEEK (Pseudocolaptes lawrencii) – We saw several on Cerro Montezuma, and another at RNA Las Tangaras. We saw P. l. johnsoni, endemic to the montane Choco, and perhaps to be split as Pacific Tuftedcheek.
STREAKED TUFTEDCHEEK (Pseudocolaptes boissonneautii) – Good views of one with a flock at Rio Blanco.
RUSTY-WINGED BARBTAIL (Premnornis guttuliger) – One seen with a flock on Cerro Montezuma provided fair views (although the Gold-ringed Tanager was a distraction!), while two above Jardin got away rather quickly.
STOUT-BILLED CINCLODES (Cinclodes excelsior) – At close range, in the open, on a fencepost in the paramo at P.N. Los Nevados.
BUFF-FRONTED FOLIAGE-GLEANER (Philydor rufum) – Several sightings, first at RNA Las Tangaras, then and again at the Piha Reserve.
MONTANE FOLIAGE-GLEANER (Anabacerthia striaticollis) – Several at Otun-Quimbaya.
LINEATED FOLIAGE-GLEANER (Syndactyla subalaris) – This and the next two were heard at various points in the understory at the Piha Reserve. [*]
STRIPED WOODHAUNTER (Hyloctistes subulatus) [*]
RUDDY FOLIAGE-GLEANER (Automolus rubiginosus) – (How it got from one side of the viewing platform to the other without being seen . . . .) [*]
UNIFORM TREEHUNTER (Thripadectes ignobilis) – Heard on Cerro Montezuma, and a responsive bird was then seen to varying degrees at RNA Las Tangaras. Endemic to the montane Choco.
SPOTTED BARBTAIL (Premnoplex brunnescens) – Joanne spotted one along the trail at the Piha Reserve, and more were heard.

Fulvous-dotted Treerunner was one of the Choco specialties that we found in the cloud forests of RNA Las Tangaras. (Photo by guide Richard Webster)

FULVOUS-DOTTED TREERUNNER (Margarornis stellatus) – This specialty of the montane Choco was seen by some at Cerro Montezuma, and then better views were obtained along the trail at RNA Las Tangaras. It is considered "Near Threatened."
PEARLED TREERUNNER (Margarornis squamiger) – This beauty was regular with upper elevation flocks (Rio Blanco, Las Ventanas).
ANDEAN TIT-SPINETAIL (Leptasthenura andicola) – Daniel had a good spot in scrubby Paramo at Los Nevados.
WHITE-BROWED SPINETAIL (Hellmayrea gularis) – Great views of this uncommon bird in shrubbery above Jardin (Las Ventanas).
MANY-STRIPED CANASTERO (Asthenes flammulata) – Quick views for some; surprisingly unresponsive at Los Nevados.
RED-FACED SPINETAIL (Cranioleuca erythrops) – Great views at Otun-Quimbaya (Kurt got a nice photo), and seen again with flocks at RNA Las Tangaras and the Piha Reserve.
AZARA'S SPINETAIL (Synallaxis azarae) – Common and widespread by voice, and after a couple of attempts seen at Rio Blanco.
PALE-BREASTED SPINETAIL (Synallaxis albescens) – Another skulker heard often, and seen briefly several times (Cameguadua, the Piha Reserve).
RUFOUS SPINETAIL (Synallaxis unirufa) – Seen on the upper slopes of Cerro Montezuma.
SLATY SPINETAIL (Synallaxis brachyura) – Heard daily at the Piha Reserve, and seen in response to playback in the disturbed areas.
Tyrannidae (Tyrant Flycatchers)
WHITE-TAILED TYRANNULET (Mecocerculus poecilocercus) – Good views of a responsive bird at Rio Blanco.
WHITE-BANDED TYRANNULET (Mecocerculus stictopterus) – A couple were seen with a flock in upper elevation forest below Los Nevados.
WHITE-THROATED TYRANNULET (Mecocerculus leucophrys) – Common in treeline forest and scrub below Los Nevados. The puffy white throat is a good field mark.
YELLOW-CROWNED TYRANNULET (Tyrannulus elatus) – This tiny bird was heard and then seen in woodland near Buga.
GREENISH ELAENIA (Myiopagis viridicata) – Seen first in woodland near Buga and again in the dry woodland of the wren spot.
YELLOW-BELLIED ELAENIA (Elaenia flavogaster) – Widespread in disturbed areas of the lower slopes.
MOUNTAIN ELAENIA (Elaenia frantzii) – Seen periodically at middle and upper elevations, often at fruiting trees.
TORRENT TYRANNULET (Serpophaga cinerea) – Several along the Rio Otun.
STREAK-NECKED FLYCATCHER (Mionectes striaticollis) – Several sightings at RNA Las Tangaras.
OLIVE-STRIPED FLYCATCHER (Mionectes olivaceus) – This fruit-eating flycatcher was seen on the lower slopes of Cerro Montezuma.
OCHRE-BELLIED FLYCATCHER (Mionectes oleagineus) – Joanne spotted one near Buga.
SLATY-CAPPED FLYCATCHER (Leptopogon superciliaris) – Seen at Morro Amarillo, La Romera, and the Piha Reserve.
VARIEGATED BRISTLE-TYRANT (Phylloscartes poecilotis) – A pair was in the same mixed flock as Marble-faced at Otun-Quimbaya.
MARBLE-FACED BRISTLE-TYRANT (Phylloscartes ophthalmicus) – Otun-Quimbaya, with its relative.
RUFOUS-BROWED TYRANNULET (Phylloscartes superciliaris) – One briefly, at close range at eye level, with a mixed flock at RNA Las Tangaras.
BLACK-CAPPED TYRANNULET (Phyllomyias nigrocapillus) – Good views of responsive birds with a flock at Rio Blanco.
ASHY-HEADED TYRANNULET (Phyllomyias cinereiceps) – Even telescope views of one oddly calm bird with a flock at RNA Las Tangaras.
PLUMBEOUS-CROWNED TYRANNULET (Phyllomyias plumbeiceps) – Heard and then seen with a mixed flock at Otun-Quimbaya.
GOLDEN-FACED TYRANNULET (GOLDEN-FACED) (Zimmerius chrysops chrysops) – Essentially daily on our checklist, heard often and seen regularly. For the moment we believe that the birds in the Western Andes are Golden-faced and not Choco Tyrannulet, but there are many puzzles in this complex.

You have to travel to get to the habitat, but when you get there, it is good stuff. (Photo by guide Richard Webster)

ORNATE FLYCATCHER (Myiotriccus ornatus) – This striking flycatcher, one of the easiest to identify, was enjoyed at several stops.
RUFOUS-HEADED PYGMY-TYRANT (Pseudotriccus ruficeps) [*]
SCALE-CRESTED PYGMY-TYRANT (Lophotriccus pileatus) – Heard several times, and then seen at the Piha Reserve, where some of us were able to look down on the crest feathers.
BLACK-THROATED TODY-TYRANT (Hemitriccus granadensis) – A responsive bird was seen well in the forest above Jardin.
RUFOUS-CROWNED TODY-FLYCATCHER (Poecilotriccus ruficeps) – It took several attempts, but we were then able to see this lovely little tyrant well at Rio Blanco.
SLATE-HEADED TODY-FLYCATCHER (Poecilotriccus sylvia) – It wasn't easy to see, but there were multiple views inside a thicket near Buga.
COMMON TODY-FLYCATCHER (Todirostrum cinereum) – Seen at several spots, including in the yard at the Piha Reserve.
FULVOUS-BREASTED FLATBILL (Rhynchocyclus fulvipectus) – This uncommon species was a good find with a mixed flock at the Piha Reserve.
YELLOW-OLIVE FLYCATCHER (Tolmomyias sulphurescens) – Good views in the dry woodland near Buga. (T. s. asemus; splits are likely in this species.)
WHITE-THROATED SPADEBILL (Platyrinchus mystaceus) – Most saw a responsive bird at the Piha Reserve.

Montane cloud forest of the Choco at RNA Las Tangaras, home to Toucan Barbets, Indigo Flowerpiercers, and Black-and-gold Tanagers (Photo by guide Richard Webster)

CINNAMON FLYCATCHER (Pyrrhomyias cinnamomeus) – Common, confiding, easy to identify--how different from most of the preceding tyrannids! Especially tame at Rio Blanco.
HANDSOME FLYCATCHER (Nephelomyias pulcher) – Seen first on Cerro Montezuma, and then at RNA Las Tangaras. These birds in the Western Andes are of the nominate subspecies; note the new generic name (formerly Myiophobus).
OLIVE-SIDED FLYCATCHER (Contopus cooperi) – Most of the groups saw one of this wintering species at the Piha Reserve on 22 February. It is considered "Threatened." [b]
SMOKE-COLORED PEWEE (Contopus fumigatus) – Joanne spotted a distant bird at RNA Las Tangaras that then obliged us by flying to a perch right overhead.
ACADIAN FLYCATCHER (Empidonax virescens) – Fairly common in mid-elevation forests, much more often heard than seen, but seen several times. [b]
WILLOW FLYCATCHER (Empidonax traillii) – A couple in scrubby lowland habitats near water; near the southern end of its wintering range. [b]
BLACK PHOEBE (Sayornis nigricans) – Scattered birds along Andean streams.
VERMILION FLYCATCHER (Pyrocephalus rubinus) – Seen several times in our brief birding in open areas of the Cauca Valley.
SMOKY BUSH-TYRANT (Myiotheretes fumigatus) [*]
PIED WATER-TYRANT (Fluvicola pica) – Good views of this striking flycatcher at the ponds at Cameguadua.
CROWNED CHAT-TYRANT (Ochthoeca frontalis) – A responsive bird was seen well skulking in shrubbery below Los Nevados. (One of the "bad" chat-tyrants, being good.)
YELLOW-BELLIED CHAT-TYRANT (Ochthoeca diadema) – (One of the "bad" chat-tyrants being bad.) [*]
BROWN-BACKED CHAT-TYRANT (Ochthoeca fumicolor) – Good views of several (one of the "good" chat-tyrants being good) in the paramo of Los Nevados.
CATTLE TYRANT (Machetornis rixosa) – On the valley floor of the Cauca Valley, seen near Buga and Cameguadua.
DUSKY-CAPPED FLYCATCHER (Myiarchus tuberculifer) – Seen well at Otun-Quimbaya and the Piha Reserve.
APICAL FLYCATCHER (Myiarchus apicalis) – Good views of this endemic Myiarchus right at the start of the trip near Buga. [E]
PALE-EDGED FLYCATCHER (Myiarchus cephalotes) – This montane Myiarchus was seen well at Otun-Quimbaya, Rio Blanco, and the Piha Reserve.
GREAT KISKADEE (Pitangus sulphuratus) – Widespread at lower elevations, following clearings up to middle elevations, e.g., La Romera.
RUSTY-MARGINED FLYCATCHER (Myiozetetes cayanensis) – Ditto, e.g., the yard at the Piha Reserve.
GOLDEN-CROWNED FLYCATCHER (Myiodynastes chrysocephalus) – Several sightings, first at Cerro Montezuma, and perhaps best the one perched below us at RNA Las Tangaras.
STREAKED FLYCATCHER (Myiodynastes maculatus) – Seen first near Buga, and then several time at and below the Piha Reserve.
TROPICAL KINGBIRD (Tyrannus melancholicus) – Widespread in lower areas.
Cotingidae (Cotingas)

Not an endemic, but always exciting, this Lanceolated Monklet allowed great views. (Photo by guide Richard Webster)

GREEN-AND-BLACK FRUITEATER (Pipreola riefferii) – Seen well on Cerro Montezuma, with more at Rio Blanco.
SCALED FRUITEATER (Ampelioides tschudii) – Fairly widespread in the Andean foothills, but uncommon and local, and always a good find; we did well on Cerro Montezuma, with a couple of sightings, the second one close.
CHESTNUT-CRESTED COTINGA (Ampelion rufaxilla) – A good bird anywhere, and especially rare in Colombia, we were fortunate to find one (at a known spot, especially to Gustavo) above Jardin. Distant, but OK in the telescope.
ANDEAN COCK-OF-THE-ROCK (Rupicola peruvianus) – We had a great view of a male at Otun-Quimbaya, and Joanne spotted a female for our "yard list" at RNA Las Tangaras, but the real fun was the lek near Jardin, where access has changed to a little farther away, but where a more panoramic view of the action is possible. Perhaps ten males were in fair form, with much calling and moving around.
OLIVACEOUS PIHA (Snowornis cryptolophus) – Our first was at Cerro Montezuma, and two more were along the trail at RNA Las Tangaras. Not a dramatic species visually, but uncommon and not seen often; Colombia's Western Andes is a good place for it.
RED-RUFFED FRUITCROW (Pyroderus scutatus) – A spectacular species and despite a range that is huge in extent, local and not seen often. Otun-Quimbaya is great for it, and we saw them repeatedly, including one dropping to the lawn twenty meters from where we had eaten breakfast. A genuine highlight.
CHESTNUT-CAPPED PIHA (Lipaugus weberi) – This recently-described endemic remains tough, if not tougher, at the Piha Reserve, requiring a walk farther and higher to have the best chances. Joanne attempted the hike and we were lucky with one a ways up the slope, but well short of where we thought we had to go--thanks to a fruiting tree. Good views before it was off upslope. It is considered "Endangered," with a population of 600-1,700. [E]
Pipridae (Manakins)
GOLDEN-WINGED MANAKIN (Masius chrysopterus) – A male that stayed put allowed telescope views on Cerro Montezuma! Wow. A couple more were seen briefly at later stops.
YELLOW-HEADED MANAKIN (Xenopipo flavicapilla) – The first for our tour, at a known spot, but a spot that requires time and luck, and it did not even take us much time because we had a ton of luck! Great views (twice !!) of what might better be called "Yellow-capped" Manakin ("Yellow-crowned" is taken). Not quite an endemic, but seldom seen anywhere, and considered "Near Threatened."
WING-BARRED PIPRITES (Piprites chloris) – For Joanne, a responsive bird eventually came in on the trail up the ridge at the Piha Reserve.
Tityridae (Tityras and Allies)
MASKED TITYRA (Tityra semifasciata) – One of this widespread lowland species below the Piha Reserve.
BARRED BECARD (Pachyramphus versicolor) – Fewer than normal, but it was seen well above Jardin.
CINEREOUS BECARD (Pachyramphus rufus) [*]

We saw Munchique Wood-Wren just down the road from this view from Cerro Montezuma to P.N. Cerro Tatama. (Photo by guide Richard Webster)

CINNAMON BECARD (Pachyramphus cinnamomeus) – Seen well by part of the group at the Piha Reserve.
WHITE-WINGED BECARD (Pachyramphus polychopterus) – Several sightings, starting with our best, on the utility pole at Otun-Quimbaya. P. p. dorsalis, an Andean bird, differs in habitat and voice from many other populations.
Vireonidae (Vireos)
YELLOW-THROATED VIREO (Vireo flavifrons) – A scarce wintering bird here at the southern end of its range; three sightings was a high for this tour. [b]
CHOCO VIREO (Vireo masteri) – This recently-described species, an impressive discovery given its canopy habits, was seen along the trail at RNA Las Tangaras, a tiny bird high up, but seen cleary, and singing. It is considered "Endangered," no longer an endemic since being found in northern Ecuador.
BROWN-CAPPED VIREO (Vireo leucophrys) – Several encounters with this southern relative of Warbling Vireo, including good views on Morro Amarillo [after a certain leader re-calibrated his mis-ID of the song from greenlet to vireo! :) ].
RED-EYED VIREO (Vireo olivaceus) – The few encountered appeared to be local breeders ("Chivi" Vireo group) rather than boreal migrants.
RUFOUS-NAPED GREENLET (Hylophilus semibrunneus) – Not an endemic, but Colombia is the center of its range, and it is more easily seen here than anywhere else. But it is not always easy to see, so some eye-level birds at the wren spot were extra nice.
BLACK-BILLED PEPPERSHRIKE (Cyclarhis nigrirostris) – A regular song in montane forest, but not easy to see; our best views (OK, not great views) were at Rio Blanco.
Corvidae (Crows, Jays, and Magpies)
BLACK-COLLARED JAY (Cyanolyca armillata) [*]
BLACK-CHESTED JAY (Cyanocorax affinis) – This lowland species is on our triplist from several spots (it extends to middle elevations), but our several views were never great.
GREEN JAY (Cyanocorax yncas) – Not a good jay trip, except for this species, which was a knockout at Otun-Quimbaya and Morro Amarillo near Jardin. Andean populations are often split (as Inca Jay) from those of Texas south to Central America.
Hirundinidae (Swallows)
BLUE-AND-WHITE SWALLOW (Pygochelidon cyanoleuca) – Widespread.
BROWN-BELLIED SWALLOW (Orochelidon murina) – A couple of distant birds on Cerro Montezuma were followed by much better looks at P.N. Los Nevados.
WHITE-THIGHED SWALLOW (Atticora tibialis) – One dipping to drink from the marshy pond at the Piha Reserve.
SOUTHERN ROUGH-WINGED SWALLOW (Stelgidopteryx ruficollis) – Regular in open areas of the lower half of our altitudinal transect.
GRAY-BREASTED MARTIN (Progne chalybea) – A couple of this lowland species near Buga.
Troglodytidae (Wrens)

We saw Colombian Chachalaca, a recent split from Speckled, well at several sites, even at a banana feeder at the Piha Reserve. (Photo by guide Richard Webster)

SCALY-BREASTED WREN (Microcerculus marginatus) [*]
HOUSE WREN (SOUTHERN) (Troglodytes aedon musculus) – Almost daily, heard or seen, usually in disturbed areas.
MOUNTAIN WREN (Troglodytes solstitialis) – Small numbers at upper elevations; a forest wren, like a Winter Wren in the trees, often with flocks.
SEDGE WREN (Cistothorus platensis) – Great views of singing birds in the paramo at Los Nevados. a.k.a. Grass Wren, and likely to be split from the Sedge Wren of North America.
SOOTY-HEADED WREN (Pheugopedius spadix) – First seen at Las Tangaras, where one responded along the road, and again at the Piha Reserve.
WHISKERED WREN (Pheugopedius mystacalis) – This skulker with the strong voice responded well on Morro Amarillo.
ANTIOQUIA WREN (Thryophilus sernai) – We found a responsive bird in the dry woodland just above the Rio Cauca. This species was only described a couple of years ago, and this population of the Rufous-and-white Wren group was only discovered in the last decade, even thought it lives along roads in an area often traversed by us birders! [E]
BAY WREN (Cantorchilus nigricapillus) [*]
SHARPE'S WREN (Cinnycerthia olivascens) – Small groups of this chunky wren were seen at several spots, including Cerro Montezuma and Rio Blanco.
GRAY-BREASTED WOOD-WREN (Henicorhina leucophrys) – Very common by voice, and seen well several times, starting on Cerro Montezuma.
MUNCHIQUE WOOD-WREN (Henicorhina negreti) – This recently-described endemic was seen well after a series of failures on the upper slopes of Cerro Montezuma, where it occurs in the more stunted vegetation than Gray-breasted. It is considered "Critically Endangered," with a population under 1,000. [E]
CHESTNUT-BREASTED WREN (Cyphorhinus thoracicus) – A fabulous song, but we could not bring it into view. [*]
Cinclidae (Dippers)
WHITE-CAPPED DIPPER (Cinclus leucocephalus) – One along the Rio Otun and another near the Cock-of-the-Rock lek.
Donacobiidae (Donacobius)
BLACK-CAPPED DONACOBIUS (Donacobius atricapilla) – On our last day, during a stop near Medellin.
Turdidae (Thrushes and Allies)

Blackburnian Warblers were one of the commonest wintering birds from North America. (Photo by guide Richard Webster)

ANDEAN SOLITAIRE (Myadestes ralloides) – Heard regularly, and several were seen at RNA Las Tangaras.
ORANGE-BILLED NIGHTINGALE-THRUSH (Catharus aurantiirostris) – A couple were heard on Morro Amarillo, and one of them was seen briefly by a couple of folks.
SWAINSON'S THRUSH (Catharus ustulatus) – Just a few, fewer than normal; seen best at La Romera. [b]
BLACK SOLITAIRE (Entomodestes coracinus) – At Cerro Montezuma, but unfortunately not seen (the one we heard would not respond, and we did not find the right fruiting tree). [*]
CLAY-COLORED THRUSH (Turdus grayi) – Near the southern end of its (mostly Central American) range was one at Cameguadua.
BLACK-BILLED THRUSH (Turdus ignobilis) – Common in disturbed areas, and one of the regular visitors to lodge banana feeders.
GREAT THRUSH (Turdus fuscater) – This really big thrush was common in the highlands; the beautiful dawn song was enjoyed at the Piha Reserve.
Mimidae (Mockingbirds and Thrashers)
TROPICAL MOCKINGBIRD (Mimus gilvus) – A few on the slopes below the Piha Reserve.
Parulidae (New World Warblers)
NORTHERN WATERTHRUSH (Parkesia noveboracensis) – One at the ponds at Cameguadua, and several in the open on an arm of a reservoir along the Rio Porce north of Medellin. [b]
GOLDEN-WINGED WARBLER (Vermivora chrysoptera) – Good views of a male at La Romera. It had enough yellow on the breast that some Blue-winged blood seems likely, but it was not a classic hybrid like Brewster's or Lawrence's. It is considered "Near Threatened." [b]
BLACK-AND-WHITE WARBLER (Mniotilta varia) – At least seven wintering birds during the trip, mostly with flocks in Andean forests. [b]
TENNESSEE WARBLER (Oreothlypis peregrina) – Several at the Piha Reserve, seen best in the lodge yard. [b]
MOURNING WARBLER (Geothlypis philadelphia) – Good views of two below the Piha Reserve. [b]
AMERICAN REDSTART (Setophaga ruticilla) – An adult male near Buga and a female below the Piha Reserve. [b]
CERULEAN WARBLER (Setophaga cerulea) – Three of this prize, a good showing: One at Las Tangaras, one at La Romera, and one below the Piha Reserve. It is considered "Vulnerable." [b]
TROPICAL PARULA (Setophaga pitiayumi) – At several stops; good views in the yard at the Piha Reserve.
BAY-BREASTED WARBLER (Setophaga castanea) – Fairly common below the Piha Reserve. [b]
BLACKBURNIAN WARBLER (Setophaga fusca) – Almost daily, a common bird in the forests of the Andes. [b]
RUFOUS-CAPPED WARBLER (Basileuterus rufifrons) – Seen by part of the group on our way back to Medellin.

Masked Saltator occurs from Colombia to Peru, but is rare and local; Rio Blanco offers a real hope of seeing it, as we did this year. (Photo by guide Richard Webster)

GOLDEN-CROWNED WARBLER (Basileuterus culicivorus) – Excellent views in the dry forest at the wren spot.
THREE-STRIPED WARBLER (Basileuterus tristriatus) – A regular member of mixed flocks at lower and middle elevations.
CITRINE WARBLER (Myiothlypis luteoviridis richardsoni) – Seen well with a mixed flock above Jardin; a visually distinctive subspecies of the Western Andes.
BLACK-CRESTED WARBLER (Myiothlypis nigrocristata) – Good views, first at P.N. Los Nevados, then at Rio Blanco.
BUFF-RUMPED WARBLER (Myiothlypis fulvicauda) – Seen on our first morning near Buga, and heard at the Piha Reserve.
GOLDEN-BELLIED WARBLER (CHOCO) (Myiothlypis chrysogaster chlorophrys) – A pair was seen briefly on the lower slopes at Cerro Montezuma.
RUSSET-CROWNED WARBLER (Myiothlypis coronata) – Seen at Rio Blanco and, even better, at La Romera.
CANADA WARBLER (Cardellina canadensis) – Fairly common in middle-elevation forests along our whole route. [b]
SLATE-THROATED REDSTART (Myioborus miniatus) – The common redstart = whitestart at lower elevations.
GOLDEN-FRONTED REDSTART (Myioborus ornatus) – The common whitestart at upper elevations, a lovely near-endemic.
Thraupidae (Tanagers and Allies)
WHITE-CAPPED TANAGER (Sericossypha albocristata) – A fast-moving flock could not be enticed to check us out at Rio Blanco. It is considered "Vulnerable." [*]
BLACK-CAPPED HEMISPINGUS (Hemispingus atropileus) – We had good views above Jardin after first seeing it at Rio Blanco. Hemispingus, based on a genetic study, consists of six different groups!; this one lacks an available generic name, so one will need to be formally proposed.
SUPERCILIARIED HEMISPINGUS (Hemispingus superciliaris) – This warbler-like Hemispingus was seen well with flocks at Rio Blanco. It is most closely related to the genera Thlypopsis and Pyrrhocoma; more nomenclatural work is needed.
OLEAGINOUS HEMISPINGUS (Hemispingus frontalis) – This dull one was seen twice with flocks at Rio Blanco. It may become Spenopsis frontalis.
BLACK-EARED HEMISPINGUS (Hemispingus melanotis) – Good views in the bamboo at Rio Blanco. It may become Spenopsis melanotis.
GRAY-HOODED BUSH TANAGER (Cnemoscopus rubrirostris) – Common at Rio Blanco, seen again above Jardin.
WHITE-LINED TANAGER (Tachyphonus rufus) – A male was at Morro Amarillo and the very different female was seen from the bus below the Piha Reserve. Tachyphonus is another genus that will be divided into several (Burns et al. 2014).
CRIMSON-BACKED TANAGER (Ramphocelus dimidiatus) – This stunning bird was seen at several places, including gracing a couple of banana feeders.
FLAME-RUMPED TANAGER (FLAME-RUMPED) (Ramphocelus flammigerus flammigerus) – A taxonomic challenge! We saw hybrids with Lemon-rumped at Cerro Montezuma, and lovely pure birds at several spots, including the feeders at RNA Las Tangaras and at Morro Amarillo. [E]
FLAME-RUMPED TANAGER (LEMON-RUMPED) (Ramphocelus flammigerus icteronotus) – Pure birds were seen on Cerro Montezuma and at the Piha Reserve. A bird of disturbed areas, often at lower elevations than the Flame-rumped.
BLACK-AND-GOLD TANAGER (Bangsia melanochlamys) – This distinctive tanager was enjoyed at RNA Las Tangaras on both days. It is considered "Vulnerable." [E]
GOLD-RINGED TANAGER (Bangsia aureocincta) – This specialty, considered "Endangered," was one of the prizes of making it to upper elevations on Cerro Montezuma. [E]
HOODED MOUNTAIN-TANAGER (Buthraupis montana) – Gustavo showed us this species above Jardin.

The "Choco" form of Tricolored Brush-Finch is one of several potential splits in the montane Choco of Colombia and Ecuador; as with the "Choco" Golden-bellied Warbler, the other form is widely disjunct on the east slope from Peru south. (Photo by guide Richard Webster)

GRASS-GREEN TANAGER (Chlorornis riefferii) – Found on the upper slopes of several mountains: Cerro Montezuma, Rio Blanco, and Jardin.
LACRIMOSE MOUNTAIN-TANAGER (Anisognathus lacrymosus) – Seen first at Rio Blanco, and again on the ridge above Jardin.
SCARLET-BELLIED MOUNTAIN-TANAGER (Anisognathus igniventris) – Some good views in treeline scrub at P.N. Los Nevados.
BLUE-WINGED MOUNTAIN-TANAGER (Anisognathus somptuosus) – Good views at several spots, including Cerro Montezuma, Rio Blanco (on the banana feeder), and RNA Las Tangaras, where sympatric with the next.
BLACK-CHINNED MOUNTAIN-TANAGER (Anisognathus notabilis) – This tanager is endemic to the montane Choco of Colombia and Ecuador. We had good views at both Cerro Montezuma and RNA Las Tangaras.
BUFF-BREASTED MOUNTAIN-TANAGER (Dubusia taeniata) – Alveiro showed us a pair at Rio Blanco, and we heard it again above Jardin.
PURPLISH-MANTLED TANAGER (Iridosornis porphyrocephalus) – Another species endemic to the montane Choco. A lovely one that was enjoyed at Cerro Montezuma, RNA Las Tangaras, and Jardin. It is considered "Near Threatened."
GOLDEN-CROWNED TANAGER (Iridosornis rufivertex) – This beauty was seen well at treeline in P.N. Los Nevados.
GLISTENING-GREEN TANAGER (Chlorochrysa phoenicotis) – Another tanager endemic to the montane Choco. Its intense green was on display at both Cerro Montezuma and RNA Las Tangaras.
BLUE-GRAY TANAGER (Thraupis episcopus) – Common in disturbed areas (and at banana feeders!) on the lower and middle slopes. Genetic studies show that this genus will be divided several ways, and this part, including Palm, is in the middle of the genus Tangara, which could lead to Tangara episcopus.
PALM TANAGER (Thraupis palmarum) – Ditto, and Tangara palmarum!? (There are other nomenclatural possibilities that would change names even more!)
BLUE-CAPPED TANAGER (Thraupis cyanocephala) – Seen well at several spots, including on the banana feeder at Rio Blanco. Genetics show it is distantly related to Blue-gray and Palm; expect it to become Sporathraupis cyanocephala, most closely related to the mountain-tanagers!!!
BLACK-CAPPED TANAGER (Tangara heinei) – Seen regularly, including on bananas at the Piha Reserve.
SCRUB TANAGER (Tangara vitriolina) – Another lover of bananas, e.g. at RNA Las Tangaras.
BLUE-NECKED TANAGER (Tangara cyanicollis) – Small numbers daily in the yard at the Piha Reserve.
RUFOUS-THROATED TANAGER (Tangara rufigula) – Several were seen along the road at RNA Las Tangaras.
SPECKLED TANAGER (Tangara guttata) – A few at the Piha Reserve, including in the yard.
BLUE-AND-BLACK TANAGER (Tangara vassorii) – Fairly common at Rio Blanco; also above Jardin.
BERYL-SPANGLED TANAGER (Tangara nigroviridis) – At all middle and upper elevation forest sites.
METALLIC-GREEN TANAGER (Tangara labradorides) – Nice views at our lodge at Otun-Quimbaya, followed by more at Rio Blanco and RNA Las Tangaras.
BAY-HEADED TANAGER (Tangara gyrola) – Best views were at the Piha Reserve, where daily in the garden and at the bananas.
SAFFRON-CROWNED TANAGER (Tangara xanthocephala) – A few at RNA Las Tangaras and above Jardin.
FLAME-FACED TANAGER (Tangara parzudakii) – Two with a flock at Cerro Montezuma.
GOLDEN TANAGER (Tangara arthus) – Widespread at middle to lower elevations.
SILVER-THROATED TANAGER (Tangara icterocephala) – A few, with great views at the banana feeders at Cerro Montezuma and the Piha Reserve.
BLACK-FACED DACNIS (YELLOW-TUFTED) (Dacnis lineata egregia) – We saw two of this lowland bird below the Piha Reserve.

Russet-backed Oropendolas can inhale bananas, a problem for the lodges using bananas to attract the many beautiful species that eat smaller amounts more slowly. (Photo by guide Richard Webster)

GUIRA TANAGER (Hemithraupis guira) – Seen by part of the group along the road at the Piha Reserve.
BLUE-BACKED CONEBILL (Conirostrum sitticolor) – Good looks at this attractive species in treeline forest below Los Nevados.
CAPPED CONEBILL (Conirostrum albifrons) – Seen with mixed flocks at Rio Blanco (white caps on the male) and above Jardin (blue caps on the male).
CHESTNUT-BELLIED FLOWERPIERCER (Diglossa gloriosissima) – While the road was bad, it was passable, and we made it to the elevation of this localized bird (and several others) on Cerro Montezuma, where they were fairly common by voice, and seen well with patience. It is considered "Endangered," with a population of 1,000 to 2,500. [E]
GLOSSY FLOWERPIERCER (Diglossa lafresnayii) – Fairly common in treeline habitats at P.N. Los Nevados.
BLACK FLOWERPIERCER (Diglossa humeralis nocticolor) – One below P.N. Los Nevados.
WHITE-SIDED FLOWERPIERCER (Diglossa albilatera) – Scattered sightings, the best looks coming in the garden at Rio Blanco.
INDIGO FLOWERPIERCER (Diglossa indigotica) – Endemic to the montane Choco, we had good looks at RNA Las Tanagaras, where they seem fairly common.
RUSTY FLOWERPIERCER (Diglossa sittoides) – Seen at Otun-Quimbaya and Morro Amarillo.
BLUISH FLOWERPIERCER (Diglossa caerulescens) – A few at Cerro Montezuma and RNA Las Tangaras.
MASKED FLOWERPIERCER (Diglossa cyanea) – Small numbers, including several in the garden at Rio Blanco, where it was a happy 'banana-piercer'.
PLUSHCAP (Catamblyrhynchus diadema) – Joanne got us onto a pair with a flock at Rio Blanco.
PLUMBEOUS SIERRA-FINCH (Phrygilus unicolor) – Seen in the paramo at P.N. Los Nevados.
SLATY FINCH (Haplospiza rustica) – Widespread, but uncommon, and always a good find--a couple of sightings at Rio Blanco.
SAFFRON FINCH (Sicalis flaveola) – In open areas on the lower slopes.
BLUE-BLACK GRASSQUIT (Volatinia jacarina) – A few below the Piha Reserve.
GRAY SEEDEATER (Sporophila intermedia) – Seen in grassy areas near Cameguadua.
VARIABLE SEEDEATER (Sporophila corvina) – A male of this lowland species was around the garden at Cerro Montezuma.
YELLOW-BELLIED SEEDEATER (Sporophila nigricollis) – Also in the garden at Cerro Montezuma (Leopoldina's).
RUDDY-BREASTED SEEDEATER (Sporophila minuta) – Several at the Cameguadua ponds, also at the edge of the reservoir on the Rio Porce.
PLAIN-COLORED SEEDEATER (Catamenia inornata) – In the paramo scrub at P.N. Los Nevados.
PARAMO SEEDEATER (Catamenia homochroa) – Two males below P.N. Los Nevados were a nice find (widespread in the Andes but uncommon).
BANANAQUIT (Coereba flaveola) – A few in disturbed areas on the lower slopes.
YELLOW-FACED GRASSQUIT (Tiaris olivaceus) – Seen well in cleared areas on Morro Amarillo; others were heard in pastures along the way.
DUSKY-FACED TANAGER (Mitrospingus cassinii) – After missing them at Cerro Montezuma, we stumbled into a group below the Piha Reserve. Genetic studies show that it belongs in a small family (Mitrospingidae) at the base of the tanager radiation.
STREAKED SALTATOR (Saltator striatipectus) – One below the Piha reserve.
MASKED SALTATOR (Saltator cinctus) – A rare bird of the Andes (it is considered "Near Threatened"), and Rio Blanco is one of the few reasonable sites. After staking out a favored area, we stumbled into one (thanks, Alveiro) up the road, and had terrific telescope views.

We enjoyed close views of Chestnut-breasted Chlorophonia during our descent of Cerro Montezuma. (Photo by guide Richard Webster)

BUFF-THROATED SALTATOR (Saltator maximus) – Partial to bananas at Cerro Montezuma and the Piha Reserve.
BLACK-WINGED SALTATOR (Saltator atripennis) – This attractive saltator was seen and heard at several sites, first at Otun-Quimbaya, perhaps best on bananas at the Piha Reserve.
Emberizidae (Buntings and New World Sparrows)
TANAGER FINCH (Oreothraupis arremonops) – Endemic to the montane Choco and a difficult bird to see, so our good views in forest on Cerro Montezuma were much appreciated. It is considered "Vulnerable," with a population of 6,000 to 15,000.
OLIVE FINCH (Arremon castaneiceps) – Another skulker, although more widespread; Michelle pointed out one that provided unusually lengthy views in the forest on Cerro Montezuma. It is considered "Near Threatened."
CHESTNUT-CAPPED BRUSH-FINCH (Arremon brunneinucha) – Seen several times at the Piha Reserve, the best views coming as a pair visited the wood-quail feeder in the forest.
BLACK-HEADED BRUSH-FINCH (Arremon atricapillus) – This hard-to-see species was eventually viewed at length, including in the telescope!, below the Piha Reserve. As split from the upper-elevation Gray-browed/Striped-headed Brush-Finch complex.
BLACK-STRIPED SPARROW (Arremonops conirostris) – A bird of the disturbed lower slopes, we saw a pair on our return to Medellin.
WHITE-NAPED BRUSH-FINCH (YELLOW-THROATED) (Atlapetes albinucha gutturalis) – We watched them enjoying bananas in the rain, and had good views at several spots.
PALE-NAPED BRUSH-FINCH (Atlapetes pallidinucha) – We found a pair in upper elevation forest below P.N. Los Nevados.
TRICOLORED BRUSH-FINCH (CHOCO) (Atlapetes tricolor crassus) – Seen several times on Cerro Montezuma, and then had our best looks came at RNA Las Tangaras.
SLATY BRUSH-FINCH (Atlapetes schistaceus) – Good views at Rio Blanco and above Jardin (another brush-finch partial to bananas!).
RUFOUS-COLLARED SPARROW (Zonotrichia capensis) – Common and widespread, but attractive and a good singer.
COMMON CHLOROSPINGUS (Chlorospingus flavopectus) – We had close-range views at La Romera. "Bush-tanagers", as Chlorospingus were formerly called, have been shown genetically not to be tanagers, hence the shift to the use of the generic name as the common name.
DUSKY CHLOROSPINGUS (Chlorospingus semifuscus) – A Choco species related to Common; we saw them at Cerro Montezuma and RNA Las Tangaras.
YELLOW-THROATED CHLOROSPINGUS (Chlorospingus flavigularis) – Trios were seen carrying nesting material twice at the Piha Reserve. [N]
Cardinalidae (Cardinals and Allies)
HEPATIC TANAGER (Piranga flava) – A few; best views were at the feeders at RNA Las Tangaras.
SUMMER TANAGER (Piranga rubra) – Fairly widespread in small numbers of wintering P. r. rubra. [b]
WHITE-WINGED TANAGER (Piranga leucoptera) – A pair was with a mixed flock at the Piha Reserve.
SOOTY ANT-TANAGER (Habia gutturalis) – A bonus was this endemic, seen in a chance stop on the way down from the Piha Reserve toward Medellin. It is considered "Near Threatened." [E]
CRESTED ANT-TANAGER (Habia cristata) – Three calling birds were seen on Cerro Montezuma, at close range but in the neblina. [E]
ROSE-BREASTED GROSBEAK (Pheucticus ludovicianus) – At least three wintering birds, here near the southern end of the winter range. [b]
Icteridae (Troupials and Allies)
ORIOLE BLACKBIRD (Gymnomystax mexicanus) – Good views near Buga. An Amazonian species that has shown up recently in the Cauca Valley, perhaps originating from escaped/released birds. [I]

The Western Andes from our hotel in Jardin (Photo by guide Richard Webster)

RED-BELLIED GRACKLE (Hypopyrrhus pyrohypogaster) – A wonderfully distinctive endemic, a lovely forest grackle in a monotypic genus. We enjoyed several good views at La Romera, including of a nesting pair. It is considered "Vulnerable." [EN]
YELLOW-HOODED BLACKBIRD (Chrysomus icterocephalus) – One in the marshes near Buga.
SHINY COWBIRD (Molothrus bonariensis) – Small numbers in disturbed areas on the lower slopes.
GIANT COWBIRD (Molothrus oryzivorus) – A few fly-bys.
YELLOW-BACKED ORIOLE (Icterus chrysater) – Seen, and the lovely song heard, on Morro Amarillo.
MOUNTAIN CACIQUE (Cacicus chrysonotus) – A couple of this noisy upper-elevation bird were seen above Jardin.
RUSSET-BACKED OROPENDOLA (Psarocolius angustifrons) – At scattered locations, perhaps most memorably inhaling bananas (bananas that would take tanagers hours to eat) in the garden at RNA Las Tangaras.
CHESTNUT-HEADED OROPENDOLA (Psarocolius wagleri) – Several sightings of this attractive bird on the lower slopes of Cerro Montezuma.
Fringillidae (Siskins, Crossbills, and Allies)
THICK-BILLED EUPHONIA (Euphonia laniirostris) – Part of the garden avifauna at Leopoldina's.
GOLDEN-RUMPED EUPHONIA (Euphonia cyanocephala) – Part of the group saw a pair of this lovely bird building a nest at the Piha Reserve. [N]
ORANGE-BELLIED EUPHONIA (Euphonia xanthogaster) – The widespread 'forest' euphonia of this route.
BLUE-NAPED CHLOROPHONIA (Chlorophonia cyanea) – A pair was seen by part of the group at the Piha Reserve.
CHESTNUT-BREASTED CHLOROPHONIA (Chlorophonia pyrrhophrys) – One of the aesthetic highlights of the tour was close views of a pair on the slopes of Cerro Montezuma.
LESSER GOLDFINCH (Spinus psaltria) – Seen at Otun-Quimbaya and Cameguadua.
YELLOW-BELLIED SISKIN (Spinus xanthogastrus) – Several sightings, including near the lodge at Otun-Quimbaya.

RED HOWLER MONKEY (Alouatta seniculus) – Otun-Quimbaya [*]
BRAZILIAN RABBIT (Sylvilagus brasiliensis)
RED-TAILED SQUIRREL (Sciurus granatensis) – The common squirrel, but squirrel ID is a challenge not helped by the mammal field guides.
ANDEAN SQUIRREL (Sciurus pucheranii) – Perhaps the other squirrel at the Piha Reserve? [E]
SANTANDER DWARF SQUIRREL (Microsciurus santanderensis) – This seems like the genus of the squirrels we saw in the montane Choco, but the range does not fit!? [E]
CRAB-EATING FOX (Cerdocyon thous) – Nice views of one coming for food after dark at Rio Blanco.


Other critters:

Chuco, the rehab Spectacled Bear in its pen at Rio Blanco!

sloth sp. spotted by Jose a long way off at the Piha Reserve

Bufo marinus at Joanne's door.

The amazing Peacocks that kept Kurt entertained at three spots!

Many fine butterflies, starting with the morphos.

Totals for the tour: 444 bird taxa and 7 mammal taxa