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Field Guides Tour Report
Colombia: Cali Escape 2017
Nov 18, 2017 to Nov 27, 2017
Richard Webster & Daniel Uribe

We expect to see Gold-ringed Tanager. We don't expect to see it in the road in front of us! One of the many wonderful birds from our visit to Cerro Montezuma. Photo by participant Steve Parrish.

It was an active birding adventure to some great Colombian birding spots! A new itinerary--mostly going to spots on an older, longer itinerary--it worked very well and provided great variety in a time period that fits folks’ time budgets.

We started in the Western Andes above Cali with some good birding highlighted by our visit to the feeders at Finca Alejandria, where we luxuriated in the constant action at the many hummingbird feeders and in the great variety at the loaded banana feeders. Multicolored Tanager was the best of the best, with much pleasure from Red-headed Barbets, Southern Emerald- and Crimson-rumped toucanets, Colombian Chachalacas, super-saturated Blue-winged Mountain-Tanagers and Golden, Golden-naped, and Saffron-crowned tanagers, Black-winged Saltator, White-naped Brushfinches, Booted Racket-tails, Fawn-breasted Brilliants, and Brown Violetears. A perched young Ornate Hawk-Eagle was a bonus.

An afternoon and the following morning around Buga took us to Laguna de Sonso and El Vinculo. These varied areas of marsh and woodland featured the endemic Apical Flycatcher and a nice variety of landbirds that included Dwarf Cuckoo, Spectacled Parrotlet, Bar-crested Antshrike, Jet Antbird, Cinereous Becard, and Slate-headed Tody-Tyrant. Marsh birds were widespread species, but Limpkins, Snail Kites, and whistling-ducks are always fun. A small marsh near Cartago added more waterbirds, with a Masked Duck a special sighting.

Our next destination was on the Pacific slope of the Western Andes, in the montane Choco at the edge of Parque Nacional Natural Tatama. Our three nights at this simple lodge went very well, the lodge staff worked hard to support our forays up the mountain, our driver wrestled the 4WD carefully up the track, and the feeders were fun: White-tailed Hillstar, Violet-tailed Sylph, Purple-bibbed Whitetip, and Empress Brilliant were among the many beauties.

Traffic on the mountain the next two days was perhaps the heaviest we have ever seen—two or three vehicles a day! This place is really an escape, with nothing to do but bird along a long transect through the forest. And hold an umbrella! One of the wettest places in the world, we had much rain, but managed to keep birding much of the time, and also enjoyed some dry periods. We did miss some birds (this place is so rich), but we were overall especially successful here, the list of highlights lengthy: Velvet-purple Coronet, Lanceolated Monklet, Grayish Piculet, Parker’s Antbird, Bicolored Antvireo, Ochre-breasted Antpitta, Tatama and Narino tapaculos, Brown-billed Scythebill, Buffy (Pacific) Tuftedcheek, Uniform Treehunter, Fulvous-dotted Treerunner, Rufous-browed Tyrannulet, Orange-breasted Fruiteater, Andean Cock-of-the-rock, Olivaceous Piha, Club-winged and Striped manakins, Choco Vireo, Beautiful Jay, Munchique and Chestnut-breasted wrens, Black Solitaire, Golden-winged Warbler, Black-and-gold, Gold-ringed, Purplish-mantled, and Glistening-green tanagers, Black-chinned Mountain-Tanager, Chestnut-bellied and Indigo flowerpiercers, Tanager Finch, Olive Finch swilling rice, Black-headed and Tricolored (Choco) brushfinches, Crested Ant-Tanager, and Chestnut-breasted and Yellow-collared chlorophonias. Whew!

One night at the Otun-Quimbaya reserve gave us time to see the special species-- Cauca Guan and Red-ruffed Fruitcrow--along with striking big birds like Andean Motmot, Collared Trogon, Green (Inca) Jay, Strong-billed Woodcreeper, and Crimson-crested Woodpecker. Great views of Red Howler Monkeys and the rare (and very rarely seen) Pacarana were also highlights. Honorable mention goes to the Torrent Ducks en route.

Two nights at Manizales gave us access to the higher elevations of the Central Andes. We had a full day at Rio Blanco, where the antpitta feeding is still going strong, and while Bicolored fell short, we had great views of Brown-banded, Chestnut-crowned, and Slate-crowned. Mixed flocks were few, but we did have a couple, and between them and birds found along the way, we did reasonably well seeing Purple-backed Thornbill, Black-billed Mountain-Toucan, Powerful Woodpecker (twice!), Ocellated Tapaculo, the lovely Rufous-crowned Tody-Flycatcher, Dusky Piha, and the rare Masked Saltator. Great hummingbird feeders, too!

Our last morning took us to P.N. Los Nevados, where we had decent weather (just some low, blowing clouds!) in the paramo, and found two more endemics: Buffy Helmetcrest and Rufous-fronted Parakeet. We finished at some mind-blowing hummingbird feeders that have just gotten even better, including individual, hand-held units that allowed truly close-up views. Hard-to-find species included Black-thighed and Golden-breasted pufflegs and Rainbow-bearded Thornbill, and the overall spectacle featured Great Sapphirewing, Shining Sunbeam, and Buff-winged Starfrontlet. We recommend the trout for lunch!

A great list of birds that includes many populations needing even more protection. In all, we encountered 1 Critically Endangered, 4 Endangered, 14 Vulnerable, and 12 Near Threatened species. We are fortunate that so many rare birds can be encountered so “easily.”

We hit a wet stretch of weather in a wet country, and while we saw flooding damage around the Cauca Valley, we managed to miss all the landslide closures and to keep birding much of the time (it was wet, not awfully wet). We were perhaps a little lucky. A couple of folks suffered through colds, but our collective health was otherwise good.

Thanks goes to a series of safe drivers, who were the most visible of much support that made this trip run so smoothly. Colombia is a friendly and helpful place.

Taxonomy follows Clements as best possible, with additional notes from the SACC, IOC, etc. Conservation status is based on the publications of BirdLife International. Apologies are due to the Spanish language—many accents and other marks are omitted to avoid indigestion for the varied computer platforms we use.


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) [*]
LITTLE TINAMOU (Crypturellus soui) [*]
Anatidae (Ducks, Geese, and Waterfowl)
BLACK-BELLIED WHISTLING-DUCK (Dendrocygna autumnalis) – Small flocks were seen at Laguna de Sonso, which was flooding rapidly, and near Cartago.
FULVOUS WHISTLING-DUCK (Dendrocygna bicolor) – Some nice flocks at Laguna de Sonso, with more near Cartago and at Camaguadua.

A male Torrent Duck was at home on the rushing Rio Otun. Photo by participant Steve Parrish.

TORRENT DUCK (Merganetta armata) – We saw two males in the rushing Rio Otun en route to Otun-Quimbaya.
BLUE-WINGED TEAL (Spatula discors) – A few migrants were in the small marsh near Cartago, and dozens were at Camaguadua. [b]
CINNAMON TEAL (Spatula cyanoptera) – We had good looks in the small marsh near Cartago and saw one "probable" at Camaguadua; a resident population.
MASKED DUCK (Nomonyx dominicus) – Steve spotted a male in the small, flooded marsh near Cartago; good looks at this lovely species, widespread but generally scarce to rare.
RUDDY DUCK (RUDDY) (Oxyura jamaicensis andina) – One was at Camaguadua and three on Laguna Negra at Los Nevados; these are the subspecies andina [which is different from "Andean" (ferruginea) Ruddy Ducks farther south, split by some lists], and is thought to be a hybrid population in between northern and southern forms.
Cracidae (Guans, Chachalacas, and Curassows)
COLOMBIAN CHACHALACA (Ortalis columbiana) – We had good looks above Cali, including scarfing bananas at Finca Alejandria, and again at El Vinculo. [E]

Cauca Guan was one of the rarest birds we saw--fewer than 1,000 remain. Those Colombian gray skies were a tough background for photographer Steve Parrish, but this image captures the bird we saw so well.

CAUCA GUAN (Penelope perspicax) – We had repeated good views of this endangered species at Otun-Quimbaya, a reliable spot (famous last words); we saw about a dozen, including feeding in fruiting cecropia trees. It is considered "Endangered," with a population under 1,000. No, that is not a typo, the number of zeroes is correct. [E]
SICKLE-WINGED GUAN (Chamaepetes goudotii) – Fernando stopped us for one on Cerro Montezuma and we had four more at Rio Blanco.
Odontophoridae (New World Quail)
CHESTNUT WOOD-QUAIL (Odontophorus hyperythrus) – Heard on four days. We tried to stir some up at Otun-Quimbaya, where we have sometimes seen them, but did not get any response from close enough to us. It is considered "Near-Threatened," and they were certainly safe from us! [E*]
Podicipedidae (Grebes)
LEAST GREBE (Tachybaptus dominicus) – Several were on the marshy pond near Cartago.

We journeyed through coffee country, here in the Western Andes, where coffee grows on the drier (very much a relative term here), eastern side from around 1200m to 1800m, but not on the wetter western side. Photo by guide Richard Webster.

PIED-BILLED GREBE (Podilymbus podiceps) – Also near Cartago, with more at Camaguadua.
Phalacrocoracidae (Cormorants and Shags)
NEOTROPIC CORMORANT (Phalacrocorax brasilianus) – Widespread in small numbers along the Cauca Valley.
Ardeidae (Herons, Egrets, and Bitterns)
COCOI HERON (Ardea cocoi) – Singles of this striking relative of Great Blue were seen at Laguna de Sonso and Camaguadua.
GREAT EGRET (Ardea alba) – Widespread in small numbers in the Cauca Valley.
SNOWY EGRET (Egretta thula) – Ditto.
LITTLE BLUE HERON (Egretta caerulea) – One near Cartago and two at Camaguadua.
CATTLE EGRET (Bubulcus ibis) – Locally common, including several active colonies in bamboo in the foothills of the Western Andes near Apia.

Rainbow-bearded Thornbill is tough to see well in the wild, but a few come to feeders near Los Nevados, where we had fabulous views. Photo by guide Richard Webster.

STRIATED HERON (Butorides striata) – A few at Laguna de Sonso, near Cartago, and at Camaguadua.
BLACK-CROWNED NIGHT-HERON (Nycticorax nycticorax) – Small numbers at Laguna de Sonso and Camaguadua.
Threskiornithidae (Ibises and Spoonbills)
GLOSSY IBIS (Plegadis falcinellus) – Five were seen in flight at Laguna de Sonso.
BARE-FACED IBIS (Phimosus infuscatus) – Common and widespread in the Cauca Valley; seen well at our few wetland spots and also in many pastures.

Two Shining Sunbeams contesting access to a hand that they know might be holding a mini-feeder at the Hotel Termales, where the proximity to such amazing birds was a great tour finale. Photo by guide Richard Webster.

BUFF-NECKED IBIS (Theristicus caudatus) – First seen in flight at Laguna de Sonso, followed by great views of two roosting in a palm at the nearby Hotel Guadalajara.
Cathartidae (New World Vultures)
BLACK VULTURE (Coragyps atratus) – Common and widespread.

Blastoff from Launch Pad Thumb at the Hotel Termales by a Shining Sunbeam. Photo by guide Richard Webster, who may have chopped off parts of the bird, but treasures the memories there.

TURKEY VULTURE (Cathartes aura) – Just a few; seemed scarce.
Pandionidae (Osprey)
OSPREY (Pandion haliaetus) – One was at the Camaguadua ponds. [b]
Accipitridae (Hawks, Eagles, and Kites)
PEARL KITE (Gampsonyx swainsonii) – Always a treat--one on a wire en route to Cartago. Good views.

Ornate Hawk-Eagle was a surprise above Cali; a begging young bird. Not a great photo by guide Richard Webster, but it captures the moment and the bird looked fine in the telescope.

ORNATE HAWK-EAGLE (Spizaetus ornatus) – A fine bonus! A nesting pair had been around Finca Alejandria for months, and we were shown by the owners where the begging juvenile was perched. It was begging loudly, and we enjoyed lengthy telescope views, but unfortunately the parents seemed able to ignore it and we never saw them. It is considered "Near Threatened."
SNAIL KITE (Rostrhamus sociabilis) – Good views of around 10 birds at Laguna de Sonso.
ROADSIDE HAWK (Rupornis magnirostris) – One or two on half of the days, as high as 2600m at Rio Blanco.
WHITE-RUMPED HAWK (Parabuteo leucorrhous) – A gliding bird that quickly disappeared behind the trees at Rio Blanco was seen by about half of the group. Genetic studies have now placed it in the same genus as Harris's Hawk.
BLACK-CHESTED BUZZARD-EAGLE (Geranoaetus melanoleucus) – Repeated nice views above treeline at Los Nevados.
BROAD-WINGED HAWK (Buteo platypterus) – Five wintering birds were seen above Cali, on Cerro Montezuma, and at Rio Blanco. [b]
Rallidae (Rails, Gallinules, and Coots)
BLACKISH RAIL (Pardirallus nigricans) – No response at Montezuma Rainforest Lodge, and while we heard them several times at Camaguadua, we had no response to playback at the few spots where there was potential visibility. [*]
PURPLE GALLINULE (Porphyrio martinica) – Carolyn got us on this lovely bird at Camaguadua.

The home to Cauca Guan and Red-ruffed Fruitcrow: The main track at Otun-Quimbaya. Photo by guide Richard Webster.

COMMON GALLINULE (Gallinula galeata) – Common at Laguna de Sonso, near Cartago, and at Camaguadua.
AMERICAN COOT (Fulica americana) – Two near Cartago and five at Camaguadua; near the southern limit of their range. F. a. columbiana.
Aramidae (Limpkin)
LIMPKIN (Aramus guarauna) – It was fun to see several well at Laguna de Sonso.
Recurvirostridae (Stilts and Avocets)
BLACK-NECKED STILT (Himantopus mexicanus) – Five at Camaguadua.
Charadriidae (Plovers and Lapwings)
SOUTHERN LAPWING (Vanellus chilensis) – Small numbers were seen in pastures throughout.
Jacanidae (Jacanas)
WATTLED JACANA (Jacana jacana) – Good views of small numbers at Laguna de Sonso, near Cartago, and Camaguadua.
Scolopacidae (Sandpipers and Allies)
PECTORAL SANDPIPER (Calidris melanotos) – One was seen in flight at Camaguadua. [b]
SPOTTED SANDPIPER (Actitis macularius) – Two along the rushing Rio Otun were in one typical winter habitat, and more were another at Camaguadua. [b]
SOLITARY SANDPIPER (Tringa solitaria) – Four around the ponds at Camaguadua. [b]

After much rain just before our arrival, the Rio Cauca was running full, and backing up into the marshes at Laguna de Sonso. Photo by guide Richard Webster.

LESSER YELLOWLEGS (Tringa flavipes) – Three at Camaguadua. [b]
Columbidae (Pigeons and Doves)
ROCK PIGEON (Columba livia) – Regular in towns throughout, with even a few around an isolated farm house at Los Nevados. [I]
PALE-VENTED PIGEON (Patagioenas cayennensis) – Seen at Laguna de Sonso and Camaguadua, with stunning views of one on the lawn at Otun-Quimbaya (it is not often we get to enthuse about this species!).
BAND-TAILED PIGEON (WHITE-NECKED) (Patagioenas fasciata albilinea) – A few in the highlands, seen best at Rio Blanco.
PLUMBEOUS PIGEON (Patagioenas plumbea chapmani) – Good views of a perched bird in forest on Cerro Montezuma, where another was heard.
RUDDY PIGEON (Patagioenas subvinacea) – Heard once on Cerro Montezuma. It is considered "Vulnerable," which surprises the author of this list!?? [*]
RUDDY GROUND-DOVE (Columbina talpacoti) – Widespread; from a moving bus, at the feeders at our coffee stop before Camaguadua, etc.

A Great Sapphirewing in a quiet moment, one of many Sapphirewings at the Hotel Termales. Photo by guide Richard Webster.

WHITE-TIPPED DOVE (Leptotila verreauxi) – Mostly heard, and seen by some at Laguna de Sonso.
EARED DOVE (Zenaida auriculata) – As with Ruddy Ground-Dove, widespread in small numbers in open areas along the Cauca Valley.
Cuculidae (Cuckoos)
SMOOTH-BILLED ANI (Crotophaga ani) – Several encounters at lower elevations.
STRIPED CUCKOO (Tapera naevia) – Heard at Laguna de Sonso and Camaguadua. [*]
LITTLE CUCKOO (Coccycua minuta) – One was seen by part of the group as it vanished into flooded thickets at Laguna de Sonso.
DWARF CUCKOO (Coccycua pumila) – A responsive bird at Laguna de Sonso was an attractive treat; we don't often get to see this local species.
SQUIRREL CUCKOO (Piaya cayana) – A couple were seen on Cerro Montezuma and another heard.
YELLOW-BILLED CUCKOO (Coccyzus americanus) – Much of the population must pass through Colombia, but we don't often see them. One at El Vinculo was a further surprise because it was calling (migrants are usually silent). [b]
Strigidae (Owls)
TROPICAL SCREECH-OWL (Megascops choliba) – Cal and Carolyn heard this species at our B&B above Cali. [*]
CLOUD-FOREST PYGMY-OWL (Glaucidium nubicola) – Heard well on Cerro Montezuma, and it seemed like we had a chance to see it, but it did not come closer. It is considered "Vulnerable." [*]
MOTTLED OWL (Ciccaba virgata) – We heard one call a couple of times at Otun-Quimbaya. [*]
Caprimulgidae (Nightjars and Allies)
COMMON NIGHTHAWK (Chordeiles minor) – A roosting nighthawk high in a tree at Camaguadua appeared to be this species, a regular wintering locale. But they are much easier to identify calling on a summer evening! [b]

A Golden-breasted Puffleg using one of the handheld feeders at the Hotel Termales. My what clean fingernails (perhaps it isn't someone who had spent the morning birding in the paramo?)! Photo by guide Richard Webster.

RUFOUS-BELLIED NIGHTHAWK (Lurocalis rufiventris) – Steve emerged from his room at dawn at Otun-Quimbaya and saw this species foraging over the compound.
Nyctibiidae (Potoos)
COMMON POTOO (Nyctibius griseus) – We had wonderful views of two roosting birds, the first at El Vinculo, where a birder from Bogota had located it, and then on Cerro Montezuma, where Fernando spotted it.
Apodidae (Swifts)
WHITE-CHINNED SWIFT (Cypseloides cryptus) – A flock of 40 on Cerro Montezuma was probably headed for roost at 5 p.m. The ID was a combination of size, shape, and call, and was likely correct, but mastering swifts is a slow, incremental process that is hard to double check.
CHESTNUT-COLLARED SWIFT (Streptoprocne rutila) – A flock of 40 was over Otun-Quimbaya; decent but not great views (no chestnut).

A female Buff-winged Starfrontlet does not mind the creative placement of the feeder at all. Photo by guide Richard Webster.

WHITE-COLLARED SWIFT (Streptoprocne zonaris) – A couple were seen in flight over Otun-Quimbaya, and more were heard over the forest later (this gray, wet trip was not good for soaring raptors or swifts).
Trochilidae (Hummingbirds)
WHITE-NECKED JACOBIN (Florisuga mellivora) – Wet weather is good for hummingbirds at feeders! Jacobins were common at Finca Alejandria and Montezuma Rainforest Lodge.
GREEN HERMIT (Phaethornis guy) – One made several appearances at its favorite feeder at Finca Alejandria; good views of what can be a tough species to see inside the forest.
TAWNY-BELLIED HERMIT (Phaethornis syrmatophorus) – Seen twice, first in forest on Cerro Montezuma, then at Rio Blanco; in both cases just briefly for part of the group.
STRIPE-THROATED HERMIT (Phaethornis striigularis) – One was seen foraging low in forest at Cerro Montezuma; only for part of the group, and mostly naked eye. A split of Little Hermit.
GREEN-FRONTED LANCEBILL (Doryfera ludovicae) – Good views: Two at Otun-Quimbaya and one at Rio Blanco.
WEDGE-BILLED HUMMINGBIRD (Schistes geoffroyi) – A second attempt (Daniel is persistent) produced good views of one feeding in flowers at Rio Blanco; an uncommon species we often miss.
BROWN VIOLETEAR (Colibri delphinae) – Common at the feeders at Finca Alejandria; this violetear is quite local, but often common where it occurs.

Lesser Violetear was easily admired at the feeders at Rio Blanco. Photo by guide Richard Webster.

LESSER VIOLETEAR (Colibri cyanotus) – Common at the lodge feeders at Rio Blanco, where we had great views. As split from Mexican Violetear, formerly Green Violetear when combined.
SPARKLING VIOLETEAR (Colibri coruscans) – A couple of this big violetear were at Finca Alejandria and a few more were at Rio Blanco.
BLACK-THROATED MANGO (Anthracothorax nigricollis) – Just singles, but seen well at several stops, including Finca Alejandria and Cerro Montezuma.
TOURMALINE SUNANGEL (Heliangelus exortis) – Our first ones were at the upper elevation forest feeders on Cerro Montezuma, followed by glowing birds at close range around the feeders at Rio Blanco.
SPECKLED HUMMINGBIRD (Adelomyia melanogenys) – In small numbers, but great views at close range at Finca Alejandria, upper Cerro Montezuma, Otun-Quimbaya, and Rio Blanco.
LONG-TAILED SYLPH (Aglaiocercus kingii) – What a knockout! Great views at Finca Alejandria and Rio Blanco, with a probable on upper Cerro Montezuma.
VIOLET-TAILED SYLPH (Aglaiocercus coelestis) – This Choco specialty was seen well, repeatedly, at feeders on Cerro Montezuma.
PURPLE-BACKED THORNBILL (Ramphomicron microrhynchum) – An uncommon species; part of the group saw a glowing male high on a forest tree at Rio Blanco.
RAINBOW-BEARDED THORNBILL (Chalcostigma herrani) – Thanks to the Hotel Termales, this difficult bird can be seen extraordinarily well. Not very many of them, but they are as tame as any, coming to the hand feeders.

Buffy Helmetcrest is a recent split of Bearded Helmetcrest, and its purple beard is in good view here. We found several before the clouds closed in at PN Los Nevados. Photo by participant Steve Parrish.

BUFFY HELMETCREST (Oxypogon stubelii) – We saw at least three of this specialty by staking out flowering bushes in the paramo at Los Nevados. Good views, the last one at close range. It is considered "Vulnerable," with a population under 1,000; fortunately, part of its habitat is in the national park where we saw it. [E]
TYRIAN METALTAIL (Metallura tyrianthina) – Scarcer than usual, with just a few, all at the Hotel Termales.
VIRIDIAN METALTAIL (Metallura williami) – Not the most beautiful hummingbird, but hard to see well, so the Hotel Termales is good for this one as well.
GREENISH PUFFLEG (Haplophaedia aureliae) – Montezuma Rainforest Lodge is working to maintain feeders at higher elevations, and good looks at a couple of this species were one of the benefits of that work.
BLACK-THIGHED PUFFLEG (Eriocnemis derbyi) – Another difficult, local species that is hard to observe in the wild, but the Hotel Termales feeders provide excellent opportunities as close as the feeder on your palm. It is considered "Near Threatened."
GOLDEN-BREASTED PUFFLEG (Eriocnemis mosquera) – Ditto, and even more common.

Shining Sunbeam is one of a few hummingbirds in which the bright color is on the rump and lower back. Photo at the Hotel Termales by guide Richard Webster.

SHINING SUNBEAM (Aglaeactis cupripennis) – Not so hard to see in the wild, but equally pleasurable at close range at the Termales, where the colorful lower back is easily observed.
BRONZY INCA (Coeligena coeligena) – Numbers were small, but it was present most of the time at the feeders at Finca Alejandria and Rio Blanco.
BROWN INCA (Coeligena wilsoni) – Not yet addicted to the feeders at Cerro Montezuma, so we had to see this Choco specialty earning an honest living in the forest. We did, twice.
COLLARED INCA (Coeligena torquata) – This striking inca was seen at upper elevations on Cerro Montezuma and again at Rio Blanco, where it was a regular at the feeders.

Buff-winged Starfrontlet in a portrait from the Termales feeders, not cropped to cover up those tatty (Real Life!) missing feathers on the breast. Photo by guide Richard Webster.

BUFF-WINGED STARFRONTLET (Coeligena lutetiae) – Superb views of the "strange" wing patches (and the rest of the birds) at the Hotel Termales feeders, including visiting the handheld individual feeders.
MOUNTAIN VELVETBREAST (Lafresnaya lafresnayi) – One female made a couple of visits to the Hotel Termales feeders.
GREAT SAPPHIREWING (Pterophanes cyanopterus) – Common at the Hotel Termales feeders. The second largest species of hummingbird, these big birds were as tame as any, visiting the individual hand feeders. Simply spectacular.
BUFF-TAILED CORONET (Boissonneaua flavescens) – Common and widespread, seen almost daily along the tour route. Most common at Rio Blanco, where fortunately the species was not as dominant as in recent years (i.e., a good diversity of hummingbirds was able to feed there).
VELVET-PURPLE CORONET (Boissonneaua jardini) – One of the most beautiful hummingbirds. This Choco species was uncommon on Cerro Montezuma, but at least one was regular at the lodge feeders, and several were at the new feeders up the mountain. Spectacular.
BOOTED RACKET-TAIL (Ocreatus underwoodii) – Common at Finca Alejandria; great views. A few were also seen at middle elevations on Cerro Montezuma.

White-tailed Hillstar was a near-constant presence at the Montezuma Rainforest Lodge feeders. Photo by guide Richard Webster.

WHITE-TAILED HILLSTAR (Urochroa bougueri) – The nominate form is a bird of the Choco, where we saw it daily on Cerro Montezuma. Often uncommon, here they are one of the principal thugs of the lodge feeders, chasing other birds through the dining area, into the kitchen, etc.
PURPLE-BIBBED WHITETIP (Urosticte benjamini) – Another Choco specialty, and scarce at Cerro Montezuma, where just one male seemed to be visiting the feeders (none found in the wild).
FAWN-BREASTED BRILLIANT (Heliodoxa rubinoides) – Common at Finca Alejandria, with a few at lower elevations at Rio Blanco.
GREEN-CROWNED BRILLIANT (Heliodoxa jacula) – Common at some other Andean locations, but scarce on this route. We saw single females and males periodically at the Montezuma Rainforest Lodge feeders.
EMPRESS BRILLIANT (Heliodoxa imperatrix) – Another endemic of the montane Choco. Not common, but usually present at the feeders at Cerro Montezuma, where we had repeated great views of the brilliant greens.
LONG-BILLED STARTHROAT (Heliomaster longirostris) – A single bird was a regular at the Montezuma feeders.
WHITE-BELLIED WOODSTAR (Chaetocercus mulsant) – Single males and females were seen occasionally at the Rio Blanco feeders.
PURPLE-THROATED WOODSTAR (Calliphlox mitchellii) – It is great to have a woodstar be so numerous, as it was at Finca Alejandria and Cerro Montezuma. They hung in there quite well with all the big species.
WESTERN EMERALD (Chlorostilbon melanorhynchus melanorhynchus) – This little hummingbird did not hang in at all well at the feeders, and stuck primarily to the verbena bush by the lodge at Cerro Montezuma. Also seen at Finca Alejandria, El Vinculo, and Otun-Quimbaya, again generally at flowers. A split of Blue-tailed Emerald.
CROWNED WOODNYMPH (Thalurania colombica) – A single male was seen regularly at the feeders at Montezuma Rainforest Lodge. A stunner. In the back-and-forth world of woodnymph taxonomy, we saw a green-crowned form with a purple belly (fannyae/subtropicalis).
ANDEAN EMERALD (Amazilia franciae) – Seen at most areas. One of the "simpler" hummingbird color designs, but as lovely as any, set off by that clean white.
STEELY-VENTED HUMMINGBIRD (Amazilia saucerottei) – Fairly common at Finca Alejandria, with one or two at a time at Cerro Montezuma.
RUFOUS-TAILED HUMMINGBIRD (Amazilia tzacatl) – Uncommon in relative terms, but still usually present at Finca Alejandria and Cerro Montezuma.
Trogonidae (Trogons)
GOLDEN-HEADED QUETZAL (Pharomachrus auriceps) – Heard once at Cerro Montezuma. Quetzals seem to be harder and harder to see at much-birded spots--too many of us pursuing them? [*]
COLLARED TROGON (Trogon collaris) – Several were seen, and a couple more heard, in the forest at Otun-Quimbaya. T. c. subtropicalis.
MASKED TROGON (Trogon personatus assimilis) – Along the road near Finca Alejandria. [*]

A Collared Inca male at close quarters near the feeders at Rio Blanco. Photo by guide Richard Webster.

MASKED TROGON (Trogon personatus temperatus) – We had good views of this high-elevation form at Rio Blanco (2500-2600m). Splits are likely in this species, so keep track of where (at what elevation) you see them.
Momotidae (Motmots)
ANDEAN MOTMOT (Momotus aequatorialis) – Cal spotted this split from Blue-crowned Motmot above Cali and a few more were seen at Cerro Montezuma and Otun-Quimbaya. a.k.a. Highland Motmot.
Alcedinidae (Kingfishers)
RINGED KINGFISHER (Megaceryle torquata) – Seen at our several marshy spots in the Cauca Valley.
AMAZON KINGFISHER (Chloroceryle amazona) – One at Laguna de Sonso.
GREEN KINGFISHER (Chloroceryle americana) – Two at Laguna de Sonso and one at Camaguadua.
Bucconidae (Puffbirds)
MOUSTACHED PUFFBIRD (Malacoptila mystacalis) – Heard, but not responsive, or responsive enough, on Cerro Montezuma. [*]

Lanceolated Monklet is widespread in the Andes and W Amazonia, but uncommon and hard to find, so this one on Cerro Montezuma was a bonus, as is the fine photo by participant Steve Parrish.

LANCEOLATED MONKLET (Micromonacha lanceolata) – Great views of a wonderfully responsive bird on Cerro Montezuma. Always a prize; it is widespread in western Amazonia and the Andes, but it is generally uncommon and hard to find.

Red-headed Barbet, a male poised to descend to a feeder at Finca Alejandria above Cali. Photo by guide Richard Webster.

Capitonidae (New World Barbets)
RED-HEADED BARBET (Eubucco bourcierii) – Repeated great views at the banana spread at Finca Alejandria, with a couple more observed on Cerro Montezuma.
Semnornithidae (Toucan-Barbets)
TOUCAN BARBET (Semnornis ramphastinus) – Heard once on Cerro Montezuma and it was not responsive. This species seems less common here than on some other Choco routes. It is considered "Near Threatened." [*]
Ramphastidae (Toucans)
SOUTHERN EMERALD-TOUCANET (Aulacorhynchus albivitta) – Increasingly split (but some of the splitting seems poorly thought out), now in Clements as this. We saw the bluish-gray-throated phaeolaemus at Finca Alejandria and a more grayish-white-throated form, griseigularis, at Rio Blanco. Whatever, they are great birds, and devour bananas!

Crimson-rumped Toucanets have larceny in the heart, at least when there is a banana to filch from a feeder at Finca Alejandria! Photo by participant Steve Parrish.

CRIMSON-RUMPED TOUCANET (Aulacorhynchus haematopygus) – Also partial to the banana spread at Finca Alejandria. Great views of this also rather emerald gem.
BLACK-BILLED MOUNTAIN-TOUCAN (Andigena nigrirostris) – At Rio Blanco Felipe knew of a fruiting tree that was being used regularly, and on our second pass a pair of these mountain-toucans was seen well working on the large fruit.
Picidae (Woodpeckers)
GRAYISH PICULET (Picumnus granadensis) – After missing them at a couple of regular spots, we had good views in secondary on lower Cerro Montezuma, and heard another at Otun-Quimbaya. Not one of Colombia's most beautiful birds, but an endemic limited to the slopes of the Cauca Valley, bordered by the range of Olivaceous Piculet. [E]
RED-CROWNED WOODPECKER (Melanerpes rubricapillus) – A bird of open areas on the valley floor: Laguna de Sonso, El Vinculo, and Camaguadua.
SMOKY-BROWN WOODPECKER (Picoides fumigatus) – We saw one our first morning on the slopes of the Western Andes above Cali.
YELLOW-VENTED WOODPECKER (Veniliornis dignus) – This uncommon montane Veniliornis seems most numerous in the Colombian Andes. We had three encounters on Cerro Montezuma, although it took all three for everyone to get a good view.
GOLDEN-OLIVE WOODPECKER (Colaptes rubiginosus) – A couple at Finca Alejandria and one seen and several heard on Cerro Montezuma.
CRIMSON-MANTLED WOODPECKER (Colaptes rivolii) – This stunning bird occurs higher than Golden-olives; we saw one beauty at Rio Blanco and another the next day near the parakeets at Los Nevados.

Long-tailed Sylph decorating a fern at Rio Blanco, one of many such fine ornaments on the shrubbery around the feeders there. Photo by guide Richard Webster.

SPOT-BREASTED WOODPECKER (Colaptes punctigula) – Several at Laguna de Sonso were followed by another one at El Vinculo.
LINEATED WOODPECKER (Dryocopus lineatus) [*]
POWERFUL WOODPECKER (Campephilus pollens) – An uncommon large woodpecker of the montane forests, Powerful is always a treat. Rio Blanco is a good spot for them, and it was again this time, with two sightings of three birds.
CRIMSON-CRESTED WOODPECKER (Campephilus melanoleucos) – Carolyn got us on this striking, large woodpecker at Otun-Quimbaya.
Falconidae (Falcons and Caracaras)
CRESTED CARACARA (Caracara cheriway) – A few were seen during our drives through the Cauca Valley and at the marsh near Cartago.

A male Crowned Woodnymph near feeders in the Western Andes. Photo by guide Richard Webster.

YELLOW-HEADED CARACARA (Milvago chimachima chimachima) – Fairly common in open country in the Cauca Valley.
MERLIN (Falco columbarius) – A couple of folks got on a speeding bullet at Camaguadua. [b]
Psittacidae (New World and African Parrots)
BARRED PARAKEET (Bolborhynchus lineola) [*]
RUFOUS-FRONTED PARAKEET (Bolborhynchus ferrugineifrons) – P.N. Los Nevados is the place, but we had not been fortunate enough to intersect a flock. We tried a couple of "favored" spots this time, and Daniel's worked this year, as we saw a loose flock of about 50 moving across the valley. We were never close, but we did have good telescope views. It is considered "Vulnerable," with a population under 2,700. [E]
BLUE-HEADED PARROT (Pionus menstruus) – Fairly common around the valley floor, especially at Laguna de Sonso and El Vinculo.
BRONZE-WINGED PARROT (Pionus chalcopterus) – A flock of six landed in a tree in front of us on Cerro Montezuma, but were swallowed by the tree and essentially only seen in flight, coming and going, and a flock at Otun-Quimbaya was only seen in flight.
YELLOW-CROWNED PARROT (Amazona ochrocephala) – Heard at our hotel in Buga. Introduced/escaped, not necessarily established. [I*]

A Violet-tailed Sylph, in partial splendor; like many hummingbirds, a 360 is needed to fully savor the color. Photo by guide Richard Webster.

SCALY-NAPED PARROT (Amazona mercenarius) – A large (a couple of dozen birds) flock near Finca Alejandria and four on Cerro Montezuma; this is the highland Amazona.
SPECTACLED PARROTLET (Forpus conspicillatus) – We had nice views at Laguna de Sonso, followed by a few more the next morning nearby at El Vinculo. Not technically an endemic, but for most folks it is a lifebird in Colombia.
GOLDEN-PLUMED PARAKEET (Leptosittaca branickii) – Although shapes were seen, this species was essentially heard-only in transit over the forest at Otun-Quimbaya and Rio Blanco. We get good looks perhaps a third of the time. It is considered "Vulnerable."
SCARLET-FRONTED PARAKEET (Psittacara wagleri wagleri) – Another parakeet that was heard in transit. It is considered "Near Threatened." [*]
Thamnophilidae (Typical Antbirds)
RUFOUS-RUMPED ANTWREN (Euchrepomis callinota) – We saw this warbler-like antbird with a canopy flock on Cerro Montezuma.
BAR-CRESTED ANTSHRIKE (Thamnophilus multistriatus) – Heard several times, and eventually the very different females and males were seen at El Vinculo, Cerro Montezuma, and Camaguadua. Like Spectacled Parrotlet, not an endemic, but usually a lifebird in Colombia.
UNIFORM ANTSHRIKE (Thamnophilus unicolor) – We saw a male in forest near Finca Alejandria, and heard the species on Cerro Montezuma.

We had help at Rio Blanco--this fruiting tree was being visited by a pair of Black-billed Mountain-Toucans, and on our second pass we found them eating the large fruit. Photo by participant Steve Parrish.

PLAIN ANTVIREO (Dysithamnus mentalis) – A pair was seen on the slopes above Cali and we saw another on Cerro Montezuma.
BICOLORED ANTVIREO (Dysithamnus occidentalis) – This is a rare and difficult bird, seen occasionally in Eastern Ecuador (behind the kitchen at San Isidro!) and Western Colombia (a range somewhat like White-tailed Hillstar). Although it was a struggle both times, we had two good encounters on Cerro Montezuma, with views of both the male and the female at different times. They were quite vocal this visit; this was our best encounter at this location. It is considered "Vulnerable," with a population under 7,000.
CHECKER-THROATED ANTWREN (Epinecrophylla fulviventris) [*]
SLATY ANTWREN (Myrmotherula schisticolor) – A pair was seen with a mixed flock on Cerro Montezuma, if you were not distracted by some gaudy endemic, or even a dull one.
YELLOW-BREASTED ANTWREN (Herpsilochmus axillaris) – Heard one day on Cerro Montezuma, and seen the next, the bird that "got in the way" of the Choco Vireo at the start of that big flock. It is considered "Vulnerable," perhaps a little higher category than I might think, but 'save those forests'!
STREAK-HEADED ANTBIRD (Drymophila striaticeps) [*]
PARKER'S ANTBIRD (Cercomacroides parkeri) – We ended up with good views of a responsive pair on Cerro Montezuma. This recently-described species is a montane relative of lowland Dusky Antbird. [E]
JET ANTBIRD (Cercomacra nigricans) – This skulker was an appreciated lifer for several at Laguna de Sonso.
ZELEDON'S ANTBIRD (Hafferia zeledoni) – Heard at length on Cerro Montezuma, but I don't think anyone got on one in the undergrowth. A split of Immaculate Antbird; formerly in the genus Myrmeciza.
Grallariidae (Antpittas)
MOUSTACHED ANTPITTA (Grallaria alleni) – Heard rather distantly at Otun-Quimbaya. It is considered "Vulnerable." [*]
CHESTNUT-CROWNED ANTPITTA (Grallaria ruficapilla) – One of the stars of the Rio Blanco antpitta feeding program. We had superb views, even in that shaft of rare sunshine, as it came for free worms. Lovely.
BICOLORED ANTPITTA (Grallaria rufocinerea) – An antpitta "failure" at Rio Blanco; perhaps it was, as Daniel suggested, full. It came to within about 20 m of the free worms, calling, but did not close the distance any further. It is considered "Vulnerable." [*]
YELLOW-BREASTED ANTPITTA (Grallaria flavotincta) – Heard several times on Cerro Montezuma. [*]
RUFOUS ANTPITTA (Grallaria rufula) – Near the top of Cerro Montezuma, way across the way in a mass of bamboo. [*]
TAWNY ANTPITTA (Grallaria quitensis) – An unfortunate visual miss; we often see this at the Los Nevados entrance station, but our access is increasingly circumscribed there. [*]

Brown-banded Antpitta was wonderfully confiding at Rio Blanco, where it had learned to enjoy the free worms. Photo by participant Steve Parrish.

BROWN-BANDED ANTPITTA (Grallaria milleri) – A highlight--it was so tame in the pursuit of free worms. The Rio Blanco program worked very well, as it returned and returned, devoid of concern about us. Many more were heard. It is considered "Vulnerable," with a population of under 7,000. [E]
OCHRE-BREASTED ANTPITTA (Grallaricula flavirostris) – It took a while, but everyone did get a good view of one on Cerro Montezuma. We saw G. f. ochraceiventris (this antpitta is quite variable in plumage but not in voice). It is considered "Near Threatened."
SLATE-CROWNED ANTPITTA (Grallaricula nana) – Our third antpitta seen coming for worms at Rio Blanco, thanks to the hard work of the guides and staff there. We then saw another one by chance as it fed and fed and fed along the side of the track.
Rhinocryptidae (Tapaculos)
OCELLATED TAPACULO (Acropternis orthonyx) – We had a little more trouble with a couple of the Scytalopus than normal, but this lovely and challenging tapaculo was a great bonus--good views for all at Rio Blanco.

We heard more species of tapaculo than we saw, but at least we saw this striking one. Fortunately, it stayed on this hard-to-view perch for several minutes. Photo by participant Steve Parrish.

ASH-COLORED TAPACULO (Myornis senilis) – In the bamboo at Rio Blanco. [*]
BLACKISH TAPACULO (Scytalopus latrans) [*]
CHOCO TAPACULO (Scytalopus chocoensis) – Grrrr. Close, but not seen. [*]
TATAMA TAPACULO (Scytalopus alvarezlopezi) – This newly-described species was seen on Cerro Montezuma, although it was in pieces bit by bit, and more were heard. [E]
NARI–NO TAPACULO (Scytalopus vicinior) – We ended up with a good performer on Cerro Montezuma.
SPILLMANN'S TAPACULO (Scytalopus spillmanni) [*]
PARAMO TAPACULO (Scytalopus opacus) – We usually see this species, but had a tough time even stirring up a distant bird on this visit to Los Nevados. [*]
Furnariidae (Ovenbirds and Woodcreepers)
WEDGE-BILLED WOODCREEPER (Glyphorynchus spirurus) – One for part of the group on the lower part of Cerro Montezuma.
BLACK-BANDED WOODCREEPER (Dendrocolaptes picumnus) – One at Rio Blanco was seen at medium distance and not for very long (after missing it at Otun-Quimbaya).
STRONG-BILLED WOODCREEPER (Xiphocolaptes promeropirhynchus) – Good views at Otun-Quimbaya, with more of this huge woodcreeper at Rio Blanco.
BROWN-BILLED SCYTHEBILL (Campylorhamphus pusillus pusillus) – There was much going on at the time, but most or all did get on this uncommon and exciting bird on Cerro Montezuma.
MONTANE WOODCREEPER (Lepidocolaptes lacrymiger) – Quickly above Cali and on Cerro Montezuma, but then good views of multiple birds at Rio Blanco. This is the Andean part of the former Spot-crowned Woodcreeper complex.
STREAKED XENOPS (Xenops rutilans) – Jay spotted one near Finca Alejandria, and others were also with flocks at Otun-Quimbaya and Rio Blanco.

Buffy (Pacific) Tuftedcheek and Fulvous-dotted Treerunner were two of the birds we found here in the cloud forest of the Pacific drainage on Cerro Montezuma. Photo by guide Richard Webster.

BUFFY TUFTEDCHEEK (Pseudocolaptes lawrencii) – We enjoyed good views of a very responsive pair on Cerro Montezuma. All tuftedcheeks are great birds, and this form is also often split as Pacific Tuftedcheek, P. l. johnsoni.
STOUT-BILLED CINCLODES (Cinclodes excelsior) – At Los Nevados, we saw this species twice, but in both cases the birds were hurtling off, and views were not of lifebird quality.
SCALY-THROATED FOLIAGE-GLEANER (Anabacerthia variegaticeps) – We were not coming up with many good flocks on Cerro Montezuma, but then found one with at least three of this strongly marked species. We saw A. v. temporalis ("Spot-breasted").
MONTANE FOLIAGE-GLEANER (Anabacerthia striaticollis) – Multiples with canopy flocks at Otun-Quimbaya.
LINEATED FOLIAGE-GLEANER (Syndactyla subalaris) [*]
UNIFORM TREEHUNTER (Thripadectes ignobilis) – A furnariid of the montane Choco, we had good looks twice on Cerro Montezuma, while otherwise missing several less range-restricted treehunters.
FULVOUS-DOTTED TREERUNNER (Margarornis stellatus) – Another special furnariid of the montane Choco, we had good looks at a pair with a small flock on Cerro Montezuma. It is considered "Near Threatened."

Chestnut-crowned Antpitta was one of three species of worm-hungry antpittas that we were shown at Rio Blanco. Photo by participant Steve Parrish.

PEARLED TREERUNNER (Margarornis squamiger) – Two with a large flock at Rio Blanco were followed by better looks the next day with a small flock in treeline forest at Los Nevados. Lovely.
ANDEAN TIT-SPINETAIL (Leptasthenura andicola) – We had a pair in paramo where we saw the Buffy Hummingbirds at Los Nevados.
WHITE-CHINNED THISTLETAIL (Asthenes fuliginosa) – Briefly, in the clouds, too far off the one trail at the Los Nevados entrance station for good views.
RED-FACED SPINETAIL (Cranioleuca erythrops) – We had excellent looks in the Western Andes above Cali, followed by more of this species of canopy flocks at Cerro Montezuma.
SLATY SPINETAIL (Synallaxis brachyura) – Heard several times; modest efforts to pull one out failed. [*]
PALE-BREASTED SPINETAIL (Synallaxis albescens) – Brief, close, mostly naked-eye views at Laguna de Sonso were followed by better views of a responsive bird in the tall grass at Camaguadua.
AZARA'S SPINETAIL (Synallaxis azarae) – One in the secondary margin of the Otun-Quimbaya clearing was followed by another at Rio Blanco the next day.

After a day with much rain, we paused to enjoy a briefly clear view of the flank of Cerro Tatama. Photo by guide Richard Webster.

RUFOUS SPINETAIL (Synallaxis unirufa) – After several were heard, we found a responsive bird on the upper slopes of Cerro Montezuma.
Tyrannidae (Tyrant Flycatchers)
SOUTHERN BEARDLESS-TYRANNULET (Camptostoma obsoletum) [*]
WHITE-BANDED TYRANNULET (Mecocerculus stictopterus) – Good looks at two with a small flock in treeline forest at Los Nevados.
WHITE-THROATED TYRANNULET (Mecocerculus leucophrys) – With the same flock as White-banded; probably a couple of pairs; seen well.
MOUSE-COLORED TYRANNULET (Phaeomyias murina) – Responsive at El Vinculo. Splits are expected (after more research) in this large complex: We saw P. m. incomta ("Northern").
YELLOW-CROWNED TYRANNULET (Tyrannulus elatus) – Heard at Laguna de Sonso, and seen well the next morning at nearby El Vinculo.

Slate-crowned Antpitta was the third of the three antpittas we enjoyed at Rio Blanco. Portrait by participant Steve Parrish.

GREENISH ELAENIA (Myiopagis viridicata) – Several at El Vinculo provided progressively better views.
YELLOW-BELLIED ELAENIA (Elaenia flavogaster) – Seen in the Buga area, both at Laguna de Sonso and El Vinculo; heard later on lower Cerro Montezuma.
TORRENT TYRANNULET (Serpophaga cinerea) – We saw the 'Pond Tyrannulet' ones, first on the fish pond at Montezuma Rainforest Lodge, then around the marshy ponds at Camaguadua. Same thing as the torrent version, and real torrents were nearby!
STREAK-NECKED FLYCATCHER (Mionectes striaticollis) – Singles were seen in upper montane forest at several stops on the route.
OCHRE-BELLIED FLYCATCHER (Mionectes oleagineus) – Two were at El Vinculo.
SLATY-CAPPED FLYCATCHER (Leptopogon superciliaris) – Seen on Cerro Montezuma and at lower Rio Blanco.
RUFOUS-BREASTED FLYCATCHER (Leptopogon rufipectus) – This uncommon flycatcher was seen well at both Otun-Quimbaya and Rio Blanco.
VARIEGATED BRISTLE-TYRANT (Phylloscartes poecilotis) – Steve saw one with a mixed flock at Otun-Quimbaya.
MARBLE-FACED BRISTLE-TYRANT (Phylloscartes ophthalmicus) – First for some on Cerro Montezuma, then better for all at Otun-Quimbaya, with two more at Rio Blanco.
RUFOUS-BROWED TYRANNULET (Phylloscartes superciliaris) – We had one with a mixed flock on Cerro Montezuma. This is an uncommon and somewhat local bird from southern Central America to northwestern South America.
SOOTY-HEADED TYRANNULET (Phyllomyias griseiceps) – Our first was a responsive bird that provided good views (and listens), albeit overhead, at El Vinculo. We saw another outside our rooms at Otun-Quimbaya.
BLACK-CAPPED TYRANNULET (Phyllomyias nigrocapillus) – One responsive bird was seen fairly well on Cerro Montezuma, and another was heard at Rio Blanco.
PLUMBEOUS-CROWNED TYRANNULET (Phyllomyias plumbeiceps) – Heard very well with a mixed flock at Otun-Quimbaya, and seen as a shape overhead; best considered "heard only." [*]

Golden-faced Tyrannulet at close range is an OK bird. This tiny bird has a carrying voice that reveals it is common throughout most of the forests we visited. Photo by participant Steve Parrish.

GOLDEN-FACED TYRANNULET (GOLDEN-FACED) (Zimmerius chrysops chrysops) – Daily, except our last day at and above treeline. This common bird was seen periodically and heard frequently. There is much mystery about the range of this versus Choco Tyrannulet; for the moment it seems best to consider Choco Tyrannulet a bird of SW Colombia and NW Ecuador (where we weren't).
ORNATE FLYCATCHER (Myiotriccus ornatus) – A few were seen and heard daily on Cerro Montezuma. For a flycatcher, it is ornate (= easily identifiable).
BRONZE-OLIVE PYGMY-TYRANT (Pseudotriccus pelzelni) – A bird of cloud-forest understory, in general I hear it occasionally and mostly don't see it (not very responsive?). This trip we had several good visual encounters on Cerro Montezuma, perhaps my most ever on a tour.
SCALE-CRESTED PYGMY-TYRANT (Lophotriccus pileatus) [*]
BLACK-THROATED TODY-TYRANT (Hemitriccus granadensis) – After one got away on Cerro Montezuma, we found two the next day there.

Rufous-crowned Tody-Flycatcher is a little gem of the understory at Rio Blanco. Photo by participant Steve Parrish.

RUFOUS-CROWNED TODY-FLYCATCHER (Poecilotriccus ruficeps) – Silence at Rio Blanco until mid-afternoon, when we had very nice looks at a pair just below the lodge. A fine bird.
SLATE-HEADED TODY-FLYCATCHER (Poecilotriccus sylvia) – Heard at Laguna de Sonso, followed by success in seeing one at El Vinculo.
COMMON TODY-FLYCATCHER (Todirostrum cinereum) – Widespread, with sightings at five stops along the route.
YELLOW-OLIVE FLYCATCHER (Tolmomyias sulphurescens) – Heard at several spots, our one sighting coming from El Vinculo. We saw T. s. asemus (splits are expected, but it will take much research to sort out the many populations, and I don't know how this one fits in).
CINNAMON FLYCATCHER (Pyrrhomyias cinnamomeus) – Lovely. Easy to observe. Easy to identify. Not a typical forest flycatcher!

A Velvet-purple Coronet at Cerro Montezuma. You can see it in the montane Choco of Colombia, or of NW Ecuador (Mitch! Willy!). It IS a bucket-list bird. And this photo, by guide Richard Webster, is only part of the story (you need a 360, with the wings raised).

HANDSOME FLYCATCHER (Nephelomyias pulcher) – Engaging little 'gangs' were seen several times on Cerro Montezuma.

Ornate Flycatchers were seen on Cerro Montezuma; so much pattern and color make for a distinctive small flycatcher! Photo by participant Steve Parrish.

SMOKE-COLORED PEWEE (Contopus fumigatus) – Two singles were seen on Cerro Montezuma.
ACADIAN FLYCATCHER (Empidonax virescens) – Mostly noted by voice, but we managed to see a couple above Cali, on Cerro Montezuma, and at Otun-Quimbaya, not as well as Jay would have liked, but an introduction for him; as a winterer, it is a bird of mid-levels in forest, and elusive. [b]
BLACK PHOEBE (Sayornis nigricans) – A few along Andean streams; resident birds.
VERMILION FLYCATCHER (Pyrocephalus rubinus) – A few were seen from a moving vehicle or at stops near the valley floor.
SMOKY BUSH-TYRANT (Myiotheretes fumigatus) – Good views of a calling bird on upper Cerro Montezuma.
PIED WATER-TYRANT (Fluvicola pica) – Two were on the Camaguadua ponds.
BROWN-BACKED CHAT-TYRANT (Ochthoeca fumicolor) – We did poorly with chat-tyrants, but did manage good views of a couple of Brown-backed in the paramo at Los Nevados.
CATTLE TYRANT (Machetornis rixosa) – We missed them at several spots in the valley, but eventually found one at Camaguadua.
DUSKY-CAPPED FLYCATCHER (Myiarchus tuberculifer) – Heard above Cali and on Cerro Montezuma, where we did see one.
APICAL FLYCATCHER (Myiarchus apicalis) – Usually something of a challenge, they were again just that, but when we did find a pair, we had great views at close range. It is restricted to the Cauca and Magdalena Valleys. [E]

Apical Flycatcher has a very restricted range, occurring only in Colombia's arid, interior valleys. Photo by participant Steve Parrish.

PALE-EDGED FLYCATCHER (Myiarchus cephalotes) – Our first of this montane Myiarchus were at Otun Quimbaya, and several more were seen at Rio Blanco.
GREAT KISKADEE (Pitangus sulphuratus) – Common in open areas at lower elevations.
RUSTY-MARGINED FLYCATCHER (Myiozetetes cayanensis) – Ditto.
GOLDEN-CROWNED FLYCATCHER (Myiodynastes chrysocephalus) – Seen a couple of times: Cerro Montezuma and Rio Blanco.
STREAKED FLYCATCHER (Myiodynastes maculatus) – Jay pointed out one in the woodland at El Vinculo.
TROPICAL KINGBIRD (Tyrannus melancholicus) – Another common bird of the valley floor and lower slopes.
FORK-TAILED FLYCATCHER (Tyrannus savana) – There were two sightings from a moving vehicle while en route through the Cauca Valley.

Green-and-black Fruiteater was seen (and photographed) so well because they seem to like worms, the worms that were being offered to antpittas! Photo by participant Steve Parrish.

Cotingidae (Cotingas)
GREEN-AND-BLACK FRUITEATER (Pipreola riefferii) – Carolyn found several the old-fashioned way on Cerro Montezuma. This was followed by great views of one coming for worms during an antpitta session at Rio Blanco. This has happened before, so perhaps it is regular for them to come.
ORANGE-BREASTED FRUITEATER (Pipreola jucunda) – Steve spotted our first on Cerro Montezuma, a pair of this Choco specialty; great views, followed by another pair later.
ANDEAN COCK-OF-THE-ROCK (Rupicola peruvianus) – Several were seen on Cerro Montezuma, not for long, but vivid nonetheless. We don't have a lek to visit on this route.
OLIVACEOUS PIHA (Snowornis cryptolophus) – A scarce and difficult bird of Andean cloud forests, so always a good find. Thanks to Fernando, we had a short, very close look at one on Cerro Montezuma.

Red-ruffed Fruitcrow was on our yard list, i.e., just outside our rooms, at Otun-Quimbaya. Photo by participant Steve Parrish.

RED-RUFFED FRUITCROW (Pyroderus scutatus) – Otun-Quimbaya just keeps producing this big cotinga. We again had great views, repeatedly, of this spectacular bird.
DUSKY PIHA (Lipaugus fuscocinereus) – Another tough one. The first one at Rio Blanco was a challenge--we were trying to be quiet and still during an antpitta session. Fortunately, there was another one later near the lodge. Not much to look at, but an interesting big forest passerine.
Pipridae (Manakins)
GOLDEN-WINGED MANAKIN (Masius chrysopterus) – Carolyn got us on this montane manakin on Cerro Montezuma.
GOLDEN-COLLARED MANAKIN (Manacus vitellinus) [*]
CLUB-WINGED MANAKIN (Machaeropterus deliciosus) – One immature male on Cerro Montezuma.
STRIPED MANAKIN (Machaeropterus regulus) – With time we improved our views to "good" on Cerro Montezuma. This species is increasingly split, in which case we saw "Western" Striped-Manakin.
Tityridae (Tityras and Allies)
BARRED BECARD (Pachyramphus versicolor) – Heard above Cali, seen on Cerro Montezuma, and seen best from the verandah during rain at Rio Blanco.
CINEREOUS BECARD (Pachyramphus rufus) – A pair at El Vinculo was carrying nesting material.
WHITE-WINGED BECARD (Pachyramphus polychopterus) – A couple of sightings on Cerro Montezuma and at Rio Blanco, part of a montane population in Colombia that seems notably different from lowland taxa (P. p. dorsalis).
Vireonidae (Vireos, Shrike-Babblers, and Erpornis)
RUFOUS-NAPED GREENLET (Pachysylvia semibrunnea) – We had very good looks above Cali the first morning and saw it again the next morning at El Vinculo; heard at Otun-Quimbaya. Not an endemic, but difficult to see in adjoining countries.

Our Choco Vireo was somewhere down the slope on Cerro Montezuma. Photo by guide Richard Webster.

CHOCO VIREO (Vireo masteri) – Superb looks for some and good looks for all; the first eye-level bird your guides have seen, as it was at the start, with our large flock on Cerro Montezuma. This recently-described species is a scarce bird of canopy flocks in the montane Choco. It is considered "Endangered," with a population between 15423-15777 (OK, you know that a computer calculation was involved!!).
RED-EYED VIREO (Vireo olivaceus) – Singing birds at El Vinculo were local breeders, V. o. caucae, part of the "Chivi" Vireo group (a recent paper gave reasons to split the South American Chivi group). One at Cerro Montezuma was tentatively judged the same, not a northern migrant.
Corvidae (Crows, Jays, and Magpies)
BEAUTIFUL JAY (Cyanolyca pulchra) – One of the more difficult specialties of the montane Choco on Cerro Montezuma, we were fortunate to have a responsive bird that approached quite closely, though still staying a little slippery. We only saw one, but assume there was a small flock out there. It is considered "Near Threatened."
BLACK-CHESTED JAY (Cyanocorax affinis) – Our first ones on Cerro Montezuma slipped away, but the second duo provided much better views of this striking species.
GREEN JAY (Cyanocorax yncas) – We enjoyed good views of a family group at Otun-Quimbaya, one of the many "big birds" for which this site is good. South American birds are split in some lists as "Inca Jay."
Hirundinidae (Swallows)
BLUE-AND-WHITE SWALLOW (Pygochelidon cyanoleuca) – Common and widespread.
BROWN-BELLIED SWALLOW (Orochelidon murina) – A handful were around the end of the Montezuma road.

A Tourmaline Sunangel at close range, which was the way we saw many hummingbirds at Rio Blanco. Photo by guide Richard Webster.

SOUTHERN ROUGH-WINGED SWALLOW (Stelgidopteryx ruficollis) – Widespread at lower elevations.
BARN SWALLOW (Hirundo rustica) – Three singles were seen during the trip, including one at the end of the Montezuma road. [b]
Troglodytidae (Wrens)
HOUSE WREN (SOUTHERN) (Troglodytes aedon musculus) – Almost daily, mostly heard, but seen regularly in disturbed areas.

Sedge Wren is a bird of the paramo in the Andes; we saw them at PN Los Nevados. Photo by participant Steve Parrish.

MOUNTAIN WREN (Troglodytes solstitialis) – Good views of one at Rio Blanco (normally a little more common, at least vocally); like an arboreal Winter Wren.
SEDGE WREN (Cistothorus platensis) – We had excellent views in the paramo of Los Nevados. Sedge Wren is likely to be split; we saw C. p. aequatorialis, one of birds currently referred to as "Grass Wren."
SOOTY-HEADED WREN (Pheugopedius spadix) – We had two sightings of the same pair building a nest near Montezuma Rainforest Lodge. Their behavior was vintage skulky, however, and looks varied considerably!
WHISKERED WREN (Pheugopedius mystacalis) – Heard above Cali, at Otun-Quimbaya, and at Rio Blanco. [*]
SHARPE'S WREN (Cinnycerthia olivascens) – A family group of 4+ was with a mixed flock at Rio Blanco.
GRAY-BREASTED WOOD-WREN (Henicorhina leucophrys) – We regularly saw this species, whether we were trying to, or not (looking for a tapaculo and here comes a wood-wren). The loud, rich song was heard daily. We saw H. l. brunneiceps at Cerro Montezuma and the nominate above the Cauca Valley.
MUNCHIQUE WOOD-WREN (Henicorhina negreti) – We heard several, and found a responsive bird on Cerro Montezuma that tested close-focus capabilities. It is considered "Critically Endangered," with a population under 1,000; it does have a tiny range, but that range is relatively safe from human modification. [E]

Chestnut-breasted Wren and Bicolored Antvireo had just been seen up the road on Cerro Montezuma, but we had a quiet moment here. Photo by guide Richard Webster.

CHESTNUT-BREASTED WREN (Cyphorhinus thoracicus) – We had a responsive bird on Cerro Montezuma, but it was at home in the dense understory, and views varied from good to not so good; others were heard more distantly at Otun-Quimbaya. One of the most beautiful songs we heard on the tour.
Cinclidae (Dippers)
WHITE-CAPPED DIPPER (Cinclus leucocephalus) – We had great views of two of one of Cal's favorite birds along a rushing sluice at Rio Blanco.

At Rio Blanco, a Great Thrush was absorbed by its reflection in the mirror outside of the bathroom. Photo by guide Richard Webster.

Turdidae (Thrushes and Allies)
ANDEAN SOLITAIRE (Myadestes ralloides) [*]
ORANGE-BILLED NIGHTINGALE-THRUSH (Catharus aurantiirostris) [*]
SWAINSON'S THRUSH (Catharus ustulatus) – Fairly common, with one to three seen above Cali, on Cerro Montezuma, and at Otun-Quimbaya. These were "Olive-backed" types. [b]
BLACK SOLITAIRE (Entomodestes coracinus) – One of our prizes. We were fortunate to have very good views of several on Cerro Montezuma, not without some perseverance, but even with much effort it is easy to miss or just hear or glimpse this species.
BLACK-BILLED THRUSH (Turdus ignobilis) – Daily. We saw T. i. ignobilis/goodfellowi, the "Drab" group in the Clements scheme; a couple of recent papers have laid the groundwork for future splits, and this is one grouping (montane taxa living a different life from lowland ones).
GREAT THRUSH (Turdus fuscater) – Easily seen at high elevation at Rio Blanco and Los Nevados.
Mimidae (Mockingbirds and Thrashers)
TROPICAL MOCKINGBIRD (Mimus gilvus) – One distant bird across the little marsh near Cartago.
Parulidae (New World Warblers)
NORTHERN WATERTHRUSH (Parkesia noveboracensis) – Fleeting at Cerro Montezuma, less so at Camaguadua; wintering birds from the boreal breeding grounds. [b]

A female Red-headed Barbet has its eyes firmly on its quarry--a banana on a platform! Photo by guide Richard Webster.

GOLDEN-WINGED WARBLER (Vermivora chrysoptera) – Steve spotted one at Cerro Montezuma; uncommon north, south, and in between, this species is always a treat. It is considered "Near Threatened." [b]
BLACK-AND-WHITE WARBLER (Mniotilta varia) – About seven in total, often with small mixed flocks in montane forest. [b]
TENNESSEE WARBLER (Oreothlypis peregrina) – Cal pointed out one that was a regular visitor to the banana feeder at Cerro Montezuma, and another was seen at Camaguadua. [b]
MOURNING WARBLER (Geothlypis philadelphia) – Steve saw one outside his room at Otun-Quimbaya. [b]
AMERICAN REDSTART (Setophaga ruticilla) – We saw one female above Cali on our first morning. [b]
CERULEAN WARBLER (Setophaga cerulea) – One at 1600m above Cali on the 19th and another at 2100m on Cerro Montezuma on the 22nd; like Golden-winged, an exciting bird anywhere. It is considered "Vulnerable," with a population around 380,000. [b]
TROPICAL PARULA (Setophaga pitiayumi) – Small numbers, but widespread on our route.
BAY-BREASTED WARBLER (Setophaga castanea) – One at 1400m on Cerro Montezuma on 23 November; toward the southern end of its winter range. [b]
BLACKBURNIAN WARBLER (Setophaga fusca) – The most common wintering warbler, with around 50 seen in eight days. [b]
YELLOW WARBLER (NORTHERN) (Setophaga petechia aestiva) – Five winterers were along the valley floor. [b]
GOLDEN-CROWNED WARBLER (Basileuterus culicivorus) – Two were seen at El Vinculo.

A male Empress Brilliant showing some of its refractive glory. Photo by guide Richard Webster.

THREE-STRIPED WARBLER (Basileuterus tristriatus) – Small groups were with understory flocks; seen daily on Cerro Montezuma and then at Otun-Quimbaya.
BLACK-CRESTED WARBLER (Myiothlypis nigrocristata) – Good views in treeline forest at Los Nevados.
BUFF-RUMPED WARBLER (Myiothlypis fulvicauda) – We had quick views of one that circled us at El Vinculo, and heard another on Cerro Montezuma.
RUSSET-CROWNED WARBLER (Myiothlypis coronata) – Seen first at Otun-Quimbaya, with more views at Rio Blanco.
CANADA WARBLER (Cardellina canadensis) – About a half dozen wintering birds, usually with flocks in the forest. [b]

Birding at Montezuma Rainforest Lodge, with little but forest up the road from here. Photo by guide Richard Webster.

SLATE-THROATED REDSTART (Myioborus miniatus) – The common "whitestart" of middle elevation forests.
GOLDEN-FRONTED REDSTART (Myioborus ornatus) – Great views of this beauty, first on Cerro Montezuma, with more at Rio Blanco and Los Nevados. We saw M. o. chrysops. Overlapping with two other countries, so not an endemic, but almost always a lifer in Colombia.
Thraupidae (Tanagers and Allies)
RED-CAPPED CARDINAL (Paroaria gularis) – One at Laguna de Sonso was an escapee or an introduction; not carefully separated from Masked Cardinal, a recent split. [I]
OLEAGINOUS HEMISPINGUS (Sphenopsis frontalis) – One of this "bird without a field mark" was with a mixed flock at Rio Blanco.
SUPERCILIARIED HEMISPINGUS (Thlypopsis superciliaris) – Several of this warbler-like tanager were with a mixed flock at Rio Blanco.

An example of an apparent hybrid between the two forms of Flame-rumped Tanager, an orange-rumped ("Citrus-rumped") bird at Cerro Montezuma. Photo by guide Richard Webster.

FLAME-RUMPED TANAGER (FLAME-RUMPED) (Ramphocelus flammigerus flammigerus) – We saw this form commonly above Cali, on Cerro Montezuma, and at Otun-Quimbaya. However, following habitat modification, Lemon-rumped is in contact with it, and we also saw hybrid "Citrus-rumped" Tanagers, e.g., on the banana feeder at Montezuma Rainforest Lodge. [E]
FLAME-RUMPED TANAGER (LEMON-RUMPED) (Ramphocelus flammigerus icteronotus) – A couple above Cali and a few on Cerro Montezuma, reflecting the Pacific drainage connections of those spots.
CRIMSON-BACKED TANAGER (Ramphocelus dimidiatus) – Just a few: El Vinculo and Cerro Montezuma.
BLACK-AND-GOLD TANAGER (Bangsia melanochlamys) – We came close to missing this species for the first time. Fortunately, we didn't! We ended up with good looks at two on Cerro Montezuma our last morning, a place where this species can seem fairly easy. It is considered "Vulnerable," with a population under 1,700. [E]
GOLD-RINGED TANAGER (Bangsia aureocincta) – Our other endemic Bangsia was easier, with multiple good looks on two days, once on the road in front of us with insect prey. A striking bird. It is considered "Endangered," with a population under 1,700. [E]
GRASS-GREEN TANAGER (Chlorornis riefferii) – A few on upper Cerro Montezuma and at Rio Blanco.
SCARLET-BELLIED MOUNTAIN-TANAGER (Anisognathus igniventris) – Good looks at a responsive pair in treeline forest at Los Nevados.

Blue-winged Mountain-Tanager is a widespread species in the Andes, but a welcome beauty anytime. Photo by participant Steve Parrish.

BLUE-WINGED MOUNTAIN-TANAGER (Anisognathus somptuosus) – We saw more scarfing bananas than otherwise! We enjoyed this beauty at Finca Alejandria and at Rio Blanco.
BLACK-CHINNED MOUNTAIN-TANAGER (Anisognathus notabilis) – A Choco specialty, we had views of small groups three times at Cerro Montezuma.
BUFF-BREASTED MOUNTAIN-TANAGER (Dubusia taeniata) – Heard from the verandah at Rio Blanco, but we could never locate it. [*]
PURPLISH-MANTLED TANAGER (Iridosornis porphyrocephalus) – This specialty of the montane Choco region was fairly common at Cerro Montezuma, where we had good views at middle elevations on two days. It is considered "Near Threatened."
GLISTENING-GREEN TANAGER (Chlorochrysa phoenicotis) – This electric-green tanager of the Choco was seen several times on Cerro Montezuma. Colombia, the land of emeralds, has some wonderfully green birds, such as Rufous-fronted Parakeet, the toucanets, this tanager, the fruiteaters, and so many hummingbirds.

Multicolored Tanager is tough to see well in canopy flocks; some of our best views ever came from the family group coming to banana feeders at Finca Alejandria. Photo by guide at Richard Webster.

MULTICOLORED TANAGER (Chlorochrysa nitidissima) – Electric, too (all three Chlorochrysa are vivid). A tough bird, unless one is at Finca Alejandria when the banana feeders are irresistible to a family group. It is considered "Vulnerable." [E]
BLUE-GRAY TANAGER (Thraupis episcopus) – Daily, except in the highlands.
PALM TANAGER (Thraupis palmarum) – Ditto.
BLUE-CAPPED TANAGER (Thraupis cyanocephala) – A few were on upper Cerro Montezuma and at Rio Blanco. Genetic studies have suggested that this is not a Thraupis, and belongs amongst the mountain-tanagers in its old genus, Sporathraupis.

Blue-capped Tanager was seen from the verandah at Rio Blanco. Photo by participant Steve Parrish.

GOLDEN-NAPED TANAGER (Tangara ruficervix) – Not a rarity, but it was a bit of surprise to see so many so well at the banana feeders at Finca Alejandria--great viewing.
BLACK-CAPPED TANAGER (Tangara heinei) – A few at the Hostal above Cali and at Otun-Quimbaya.
SCRUB TANAGER (Tangara vitriolina) – Widespread in disturbed areas.

Saffron-crowned Tanager was easily viewed at Finca Alejandria, one of the many tanagers visiting the feeders. Photo by participant Steve Parrish.

BLUE-NECKED TANAGER (Tangara cyanicollis) – A few above Cali and a couple at El Vinculo.
BLUE-AND-BLACK TANAGER (Tangara vassorii) – Fairly common at Rio Blanco; this is the highest elevation Tangara tanager.
BERYL-SPANGLED TANAGER (Tangara nigroviridis) – A few were admired on upper Cerro Montezuma and at Rio Blanco.
METALLIC-GREEN TANAGER (Tangara labradorides) – Fairly common at two stops above Cali, and seen by some at Rio Blanco.
BAY-HEADED TANAGER (Tangara gyrola) – One at Cerro Montezuma and four at Otun-Quimbaya.
SAFFRON-CROWNED TANAGER (Tangara xanthocephala) – Delightfully common at the Finca Alejandria banana feeders, and a couple were seen at Rio Blanco.
GOLDEN TANAGER (Tangara arthus) – This beauty was enjoyed on four stays, starting at Finca Alejandria.
SILVER-THROATED TANAGER (Tangara icterocephala) – A few were seen at Cerro Montezuma, very well when eating bananas at the lodge.
GREEN HONEYCREEPER (Chlorophanes spiza) – Many were at the Finca Alejandria feeders, with one or two at several other spots.
GUIRA TANAGER (Hemithraupis guira) – Several above Cali our first morning.

The Andes: Ridges and ridges, forests and clearings (but we aim for the forests), birds and birds. Bliss in the Andes. Photo on Cerro Montezuma by guide Richard Webster.

BLUE-BACKED CONEBILL (Conirostrum sitticolor) – Carolyn spotted one with a small flock in treeline forest at Los Nevados. Good views of this attractive species.
CHESTNUT-BELLIED FLOWERPIERCER (Diglossa gloriosissima) – With some persistence, good views of one near the end of the Montezuma road. This very local endemic is accessible in just a few spots. It is considered "Endangered," with a population under 2,500. [E]
GLOSSY FLOWERPIERCER (Diglossa lafresnayii) – A few at Los Nevados were followed by on-your-hand views at the Termales.
WHITE-SIDED FLOWERPIERCER (Diglossa albilatera) – Good views at Rio Blanco, where they were working the 'mermelada' flowers.

White-sided Flowerpiercer showing its hooked bill, with which it slices the corolla to steal the good stuff. Photo at Rio Blanco by guide Richard Webster.

INDIGO FLOWERPIERCER (Diglossa indigotica) – An uncommon Choco specialty that was extra tough for us this year, with just one seen (though seen fairly well).
RUSTY FLOWERPIERCER (Diglossa sittoides) – Steve saw this species at Rio Blanco.
BLUISH FLOWERPIERCER (Diglossa caerulescens) – A few were seen each day on upper Cerro Montezuma.
MASKED FLOWERPIERCER (Diglossa cyanea) – A few on several days, with our best views coming at Rio Blanco, where they were seen well from the lodge verandah.
PLUMBEOUS SIERRA-FINCH (Geospizopsis unicolor) – A handful were in the paramo at Los Nevados.
SLATY FINCH (Spodiornis rusticus) – We had a quick, close view of a female on Cerro Montezuma.
GRAY-HOODED BUSH TANAGER (Cnemoscopus rubrirostris) – We had good looks at a small group of tail-pumping birds at Rio Blanco. This genus is bouncing around in the tanagers; one genetic study puts it next to parts of Hemispingus that we did not see, and which (Hemispingus) has in turn been split into multiple genera.

The flooding marshes at Laguna de Sonso looking toward the Central Andes. Photo by guide Richard Webster.

SAFFRON FINCH (Sicalis flaveola) – Plenty were seen in open areas, mostly at lower elevations in the Cauca Valley.
BLUE-BLACK GRASSQUIT (Volatinia jacarina) – A few were seen in cleared areas or the valley floor.
RUDDY-BREASTED SEEDEATER (Sporophila minuta) – A male at Laguna de Sonso and several at Camaguadua.
LARGE-BILLED SEED-FINCH (Sporophila crassirostris) – A female of this scarce, local species (a write-in) was briefly at close range at El Vinculo.
VARIABLE SEEDEATER (Sporophila corvina) – We saw a male in the disturbed areas around Montezuma Rainforest Lodge.
GRAY SEEDEATER (Sporophila intermedia) – Several were seen at Laguna de Sonso.

Another view of Multicolored Tanager, a study in converging green lines. Photo by guide Richard Webster.

YELLOW-BELLIED SEEDEATER (Sporophila nigricollis) – Small numbers, but seen almost daily during the trip.
PLAIN-COLORED SEEDEATER (Catamenia inornata) – Easily seen in the paramo at Los Nevados.
PARAMO SEEDEATER (Catamenia homochroa) – An uncommon bird of treeline areas in the Andes; we had good views of a couple at Los Nevados.
BANANAQUIT (Coereba flaveola) – Fairly common.
BUFF-THROATED SALTATOR (Saltator maximus) – A couple of sightings on lower Cerro Montezuma.
BLACK-WINGED SALTATOR (Saltator atripennis) – This attractive Saltator is not always easy to see, so birds watched on the banana feeders at Finca Alejandria were much enjoyed; also seen at Cerro Montezuma and heard at Otun-Quimbaya.
STREAKED SALTATOR (Saltator striatipectus) – A few above Cali, at El Vinculo, and at Camaguadua.
MASKED SALTATOR (Saltator cinctus) – A prize, one bird on a high, exposed perch at Rio Blanco, unfortunately not long enough for everyone. Rio Blanco is a good site for this local bird, but they are thin even there. It is considered "Near Threatened."
Passerellidae (New World Buntings and Sparrows)
TANAGER FINCH (Oreothraupis arremonops) – We had a wonderful encounter with a highly responsive pair on Cerro Montezuma. This skulker is a specialty of the montane Choco, and are often seen this well when they are seen, which is the challenge! It is considered "Vulnerable," with a population under 15,000.
YELLOW-THROATED CHLOROSPINGUS (Chlorospingus flavigularis) – A couple on Cerro Montezuma; we usually see more.
ASHY-THROATED CHLOROSPINGUS (Chlorospingus canigularis) – We saw two above Cali.
COMMON CHLOROSPINGUS (Chlorospingus flavopectus) – We saw a couple at Rio Blanco; C. f. nigriceps. f.k.a. Common Bush-Tanager.

A Booted Racket-tail at a Finca Alejandria feeder; among various subspecies, this one shows white booties (not buff) and uncrossed rackets. Photo by guide Richard Webster.

DUSKY CHLOROSPINGUS (Chlorospingus semifuscus) – Fairly common at Cerro Montezuma; this is the Choco representative of the Common Chlorospingus complex. f.k.a. Dusky Bush-Tanager.
BLACK-HEADED BRUSHFINCH (Arremon atricapillus) – We had a nice look at a pair on Cerro Montezuma; this uncommon form is increasingly split from Gray-browed (Stripe-headed) Brushfinch, and occurs at lower elevations than it (sometimes on the same slope).
GRAY-BROWED BRUSHFINCH (Arremon assimilis assimilis) – We enjoyed views of several skulking birds at Rio Blanco. It is a split of the former Stripe-headed Brushfinch complex.
CHESTNUT-CAPPED BRUSHFINCH (Arremon brunneinucha) – We saw a responsive bird at Cerro Montezuma.
OLIVE FINCH (Arremon castaneiceps) – A fun experience: after observations of Olive Finches feeding on rice left at a nearby campsite, local guide Fernando started working on a feeding program, and had trained the Olive Finches to respond to squeaking and emerge to an offering of rice placed on a bridge railing! Great views. It is considered "Near Threatened."
RUFOUS-COLLARED SPARROW (Zonotrichia capensis) – Common.

On a drippy day, there is action at the Finca Alejandria banana feeders (up to 125 kgs consumed on some days!!); Red-headed Barbet and Blue-winged Mountain-Tanager stand out, with Black-billed Thrush with its back to us (and the legs and tail of another in the background). Photo by guide Richard Webster.

WHITE-NAPED BRUSHFINCH (YELLOW-THROATED) (Atlapetes albinucha gutturalis) – Several sightings of this attractive brushfinch, first above Cali at Finca Alejandria. This is near the southern end of its range, which is largely in Central America, and where a split is possible with the "White-naped" group.
TRICOLORED BRUSHFINCH (CHOCO) (Atlapetes tricolor crassus) – We had several encounters on Cerro Montezuma. This subspecies is restricted to the montane Choco, and is highly likely to be split from the greatly disjunct birds in Central Peru (just waiting for a published evaluation).

An ID quiz! So what is it? Your guides sometimes have to stop and think--the female White-necked Jacobin is just a different bird. Photo at Cerro Montezuma by guide Richard Webster.

SLATY BRUSHFINCH (Atlapetes schistaceus) – Several sightings at Rio Blanco, where it was seen well from the verandah.
PALE-NAPED BRUSHFINCH (Atlapetes pallidinucha) – This can be a skulker, so having a pair foraging on an open bank was a treat at Los Nevados.
Cardinalidae (Cardinals and Allies)
HEPATIC TANAGER (Piranga flava) – We saw a male at bananas at Finca Alejandria.
SUMMER TANAGER (Piranga rubra) – A common winterer, with a couple dozen heard and seen. [b]
CRESTED ANT-TANAGER (Habia cristata) – We had great views of a small group of this difficult endemic feeding on orange berries near Montezuma Rainforest Lodge. A really distinctive species. [E]
ROSE-BREASTED GROSBEAK (Pheucticus ludovicianus) – Several winterers were at Otun-Quimbaya. [b]
Icteridae (Troupials and Allies)
YELLOW-BACKED ORIOLE (Icterus chrysater) [*]
YELLOW ORIOLE (Icterus nigrogularis) – Fairly common at Laguna de Sonso and El Vinculo.
SHINY COWBIRD (Molothrus bonariensis) – A few in disturbed areas along the Cauca Valley, the most at feeders at our coffee stop near Camaguadua.
CARIB GRACKLE (Quiscalus lugubris) – A half dozen at Camaguadua were a write-in--this species is expanding rapidly throughout Colombia west of the Andes.

Looks like a Cecropia leaf on top of the ear of an elephant. On this tour (and all of our tours), we are birding amidst so much, in this case particularly the rich flora of the cloud forest. Photo on Cerro Montezuma by guide Richard Webster.

YELLOW-HOODED BLACKBIRD (Chrysomus icterocephalus) – A few were in deep grass at a small marsh near Cartago.
Fringillidae (Finches, Euphonias, and Allies)
BLUE-NAPED CHLOROPHONIA (Chlorophonia cyanea) – Several were above Cali and another was at Otun-Quimbaya.
CHESTNUT-BREASTED CHLOROPHONIA (Chlorophonia pyrrhophrys) – We saw several on Cerro Montezuma.
YELLOW-COLLARED CHLOROPHONIA (Chlorophonia flavirostris) – Our first view of this species on Cerro Montezuma was marginal, but the next day we had good views of a small flock of this specialty of the Choco region.
THICK-BILLED EUPHONIA (Euphonia laniirostris) – Almost daily in small numbers.

A lovely, "mossy" tree at the Laguna de Sonso marshes near Buga. Photo by guide Richard Webster.

GOLDEN-RUMPED EUPHONIA (Euphonia cyanocephala) – We saw two our first morning above Cali; as split from Blue-hooded Euphonia.
ORANGE-BELLIED EUPHONIA (Euphonia xanthogaster) – A few were seen on Cerro Montezuma, with more at Otun-Quimbaya.
LESSER GOLDFINCH (Spinus psaltria) – A female was carrying nesting material at the Hotel Guadalajara and another was seen by Steve at Otun-Quimbaya.
YELLOW-BELLIED SISKIN (Spinus xanthogastrus) – We had good views of a pair outside our rooms at Otun-Quimbaya.
HOODED SISKIN (Spinus magellanicus) – A flock was feeding in grass at Los Nevados, in the same field of view as the Rufous-fronted Parakeets. It is uncommon and local this far north in the Andes.

Red Howler Monkey is often heard at Otun-Quimbaya, but we were fortunate to see a troop so well. Photo by participant Steve Parrish.

RED HOWLER MONKEY (Alouatta seniculus) – We often hear them at Otun-Quimbaya, but on this visit we had several great views of rather tame individuals (which presumably means that they are well protected here). a.k.a. Venezuelan Red Howler Monkey.
RED-TAILED SQUIRREL (Sciurus granatensis) – Seen above Cali and at Rio Blanco; partial to bananas, carting whole ones off.
AMAZON DWARF SQUIRREL (Microsciurus flaviventer) – One at Otun-Quimbaya.
PACARANA (Dinomys branickii) – One of the hardest-to-duplicate sightings of the tour: We were alerted to the presence of one just outside the dining room after dinner at Otun-Quimbaya, and watched it walk by at close range.
CENTRAL AMERICAN AGOUTI (Dasyprocta punctata) – We called it Black Agouti at the time, but what we saw several times at Montezuma Rainforest Lodge is Central American Agouti.


Other critters:

Iguana: Laguna de Sonso and Camaguadua.

gecko sp.: heard at the Hotel Guadalajara.

large turtles spp.: marsh near Cartago.

Bullfrog?: heard at El Vinculo.

green snake sp. (non-venomous): Cerro Montezuma.

moths galore: Cerro Montezuma each morning.

butterflies: some, but not so many in our gray, wet weather.

Totals for the tour: 397 bird taxa and 5 mammal taxa