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Field Guides Tour Report
Colombia: Llanos & More 2015
Oct 31, 2015 to Nov 10, 2015
Jesse Fagan & Trevor Ellery with Richard Webster

This Pale-headed Jacamar was a lifebird for most, and its dragonfly probably would have been, too! We had repeated views of this specialty of the llanos at Hato La Aurora. (Photo by guide Richard Webster).

The Llanos and More, the inaugural offering. The Llanos seemed like plenty, but the "More" -- four and a half days in the Eastern Cordillera of Colombia's Andes -- was "Much More", resulting in an engorging dose of Colombian birding, spanning the eastern lowlands and the nearby highlands for a rich altitudinal transect.

We started with a damp morning in Bogota, but the intermittent light rain did not prevent good views of two threatened endemics, the Bogota Rail and Apolinar's Wren, along with a starter selection of Andean forest birds, including Coppery-bellied Puffleg. And let us not forget the bonus of a roosting flock of migrating Mississippi Kites!

After flying to Yopal, we spent a full morning birding our way out into the Llanos to reach Hato La Aurora. This large Hato (hacienda) has a history of preserving wildlife while still functioning as a ranch, and we found ample evidence of conserved wildlife. We stayed at the main lodge (Juan Solito), and journeyed on foot, by boat, and by vehicle to several sections of the Hato.

We quickly found the llanos specialties, such as Pale-headed Jacamar, White-bearded Flycatcher, and Sharp-tailed Ibis, but found that much of our attention was grabbed by less range-restricted spectaculars that included Jabiru, Orinoco Goose, Horned Screamer, Buff-necked and Scarlet ibis, Hoatzin, Sunbittern, Gray-necked Wood-Rail, Pied Lapwing, Double-striped Thick-knee, Rufous-vented Chachalaca, Greater Ani, Oriole Blackbird, and Masked Cardinal. A surprise was Black-and-white Owl, seen well, and we had many more subtle good finds among the landbirds, e.g., Rusty-backed Spinetail, White-tailed Goldenthroat, and Scaled Piculet. Dreams of various anteaters and cats did not become reality, but we did enjoy some mammals, including large herds of Capybara and several encounters with Red Howler Monkey, plus two species of caiman.

Returning to Bogota, we made four trips outward to different altitudes. Chicaque started with Golden-bellied Starfrontlet, and after a series of flocks and patient searches for skulkers, we had seen a nice assortment of forest birds, including Plushcap, Chestnut-crowned Antpitta, four species of hemispingus, Andean Pygmy-Owl, Ash-browed Spinetail, Black-throated and Rufous-crowned tody-tyrants, Green-and-black Fruiteater, Flame-faced Tanager, and Moustached and Pale-naped brush-finches.

Foray No. 2 was to above tree line in Parque Nacional (PN) Chingaza, where the paramo was less diverse, but just as distinctive, with Bronze-tailed Thornbill and many furnariids, including White-chinned Thistletail, White-browed Spinetail, and Many-striped Canastero. Other birds of the paramo and upper montane forest included Black-chested Mountain-Tanager, Crowned Chat-Tyrant, Golden-faced Whitestart, Rufous-browed and Blue-backed conebills, Rufous Antpitta, and Pale-bellied Tapaculo.

The next day took us to forest at 2000m at Laguna Pedro Paulo (Pedropalo), where endemics were Turquoise Dacnis, Black Inca, and a surprise Velvet-fronted Euphonia, along with many tanagers, ovenbirds, and warblers, including a scarce Cerulean among the many Blackburnians.

Finally we wrapped up this selection of Andean birds by going a little lower to Laguna de Tabacal. Birds of note there included Bar-crested Antshrike, Gray-throated Warbler, Rusty-breasted Antpitta, Stripe-breasted Spinetail, and Black-bellied and Speckle-breasted (Colombian) wrens. After another filling lunch, we then gorged on the hummingbirds of Jardin Encantado, where 14 species was more than normal and included Indigo-capped (many) and Ruby-topaz (one) hummingbirds and White-bellied and Gorgeted woodstars.

Taxonomy follows the latest Clements as best we can keep up. Conservation information comes from the website of BirdLife International. Apologies are due the Spanish language -- multiple computer platforms precludes the proper use of various orthographic marks.

-- Richard

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)
LITTLE TINAMOU (Crypturellus soui) – Heard a couple of times in the llanos and once at Laguna de Tabacal. [*]
Anhimidae (Screamers)

Orinoco Geese were pleasantly common and widespread in the llanos of Casanare, and we had good views daily of a species that has been extirpated from many regions. (Photo by guide Richard Webster)

HORNED SCREAMER (Anhima cornuta) – Wonderfully widespread in the llanos, the largest numbers (not that many, but not rare) during the drive to and from Hato La Aurora, but also seen repeatedly around wetlands on the ranch.
Anatidae (Ducks, Geese, and Waterfowl)
WHITE-FACED WHISTLING-DUCK (Dendrocygna viduata) – A single bird was in an area of flooded rice field en route to the Hato.
BLACK-BELLIED WHISTLING-DUCK (Dendrocygna autumnalis) – Fairly common in the llanos, both en route to and at Hato La Aurora, where we saw a pair with a brood of small chicks on 4 November. [N]
ORINOCO GOOSE (Oressochen jubatus) – Range maps may show this bird as widespread in South America, but within that large range it is a local bird. The protected nature of Hato La Aurora was evident from our repeated sightings, usually of pairs, around wetlands, on river banks, and perched in trees. Many great studies! It is considered "Near Threatened," with a population under 25,000.
BLUE-WINGED TEAL (Anas discors) – Common at Parque La Florida in Bogota; some folks also saw this species on our way into the llanos. [b]
ANDEAN TEAL (Anas andium) – We saw a pair near a paramo pool in PN Chingaza at 3600m. Note the fairly recent split of Andean Teal, of which we saw the nominate taxon, from Yellow-billed Teal, from Peru south.
RUDDY DUCK (RUDDY) (Oxyura jamaicensis andina) – Common at Parque La Florida in Bogota, where we saw this endemic subspecies. They were highly variable, from black-headed to white-cheeked; under Clements taxonomy, this subspecies is part of the northern "Ruddy" group, not part of the southern "Andean" group, which starts in southern Colombia.
Cracidae (Guans, Chachalacas, and Curassows)

More evidence of the Hato's conservation practices was the tameness of the chachalacas throughout the property. (Photo by guide Richard Webster)

RUFOUS-VENTED CHACHALACA (RUFOUS-TIPPED) (Ortalis ruficauda ruficauda) – We had to work this ID through, learning in the process that the subspecies of the llanos is this one, which has a rufous-tipped tail, unlike ruficrissa of the Caribbean coastal slop. Unlike that area, they were easily seen in numbers at Hato La Aurora, even at bananas near the dining table.
ANDEAN GUAN (Penelope montagnii) – Joshua kept spotting them, and spotting them, from Chicaque to PN Chingaza to Pedro Paulo.
CRESTLESS CURASSOW (Mitu tomentosum) – A not entirely happy subject, as we made a major effort to find this special bird, and came up with several tangential encounters, leaving only a generation of mosquitoes happy. Treated as "heard only" (and that barely), as a sort of middle ground, but a couple of you did glimpse a curassow. [*]
Odontophoridae (New World Quail)
CRESTED BOBWHITE (Colinus cristatus) – It seemed like great habitat, but we only heard a few, and saw none, in the llanos. [*]
Podicipedidae (Grebes)
LEAST GREBE (Tachybaptus dominicus) – A family group was on Laguna de Tabacal.
PIED-BILLED GREBE (Podilymbus podiceps) – Seen at Parque La Florida and on Laguna de Tabacal.
Ciconiidae (Storks)
JABIRU (Jabiru mycteria) – Numbers were small, but we had several close views of this massive bird; certainly one of the memorable species of the llanos.

Jabirus were not numerous, but we had regular good views in the llanos. (Photo by guide Richard Webster)

WOOD STORK (Mycteria americana) – Only small numbers, with a few coming and going from the ranch, and seen once on Hato La Aurora.
Phalacrocoracidae (Cormorants and Shags)
NEOTROPIC CORMORANT (Phalacrocorax brasilianus) – A few tame birds were easily viewed at Laguna de Tabacal.
Anhingidae (Anhingas)
ANHINGA (Anhinga anhinga) – From one to three on several days in the llanos, plus one at Laguna de Tabacal, a little more unusual at 1300m in the Andes.
Ardeidae (Herons, Egrets, and Bitterns)
RUFESCENT TIGER-HERON (Tigrisoma lineatum marmoratum) – A magnificent species of which we had good views in the llanos, both along the road and on the Hato.
COCOI HERON (Ardea cocoi) – Singles were sparse in the llanos, but many of them were observed at close range, some showing some fine plumes; a striking member of the Great Blue clan.
GREAT EGRET (Ardea alba) – Fairly common in the llanos, but no large concentrations.
SNOWY EGRET (Egretta thula) – Only small numbers in the llanos.
LITTLE BLUE HERON (Egretta caerulea) – Also in small numbers, but multiples daily provided good views in the llanos.

Whistling Herons were not common, but we saw them daily at Hato La Aurora, and heard the tooting calls several times. This lovely heron is a bird of savannah more than marsh. (Photo by guide Richard Webster)

CATTLE EGRET (Bubulcus ibis) – Common toward abundant in the llanos, with hundreds toward low thousands seen; also widespread in much smaller numbers in the Andes, having colonized pastures throughout the Bogota region.
GREEN HERON (Butorides virescens) – An adult at Laguna de Tabacal on 9 November was a minor rarity this far south (the species is regular in small numbers in northern Colombia). [b]
STRIATED HERON (Butorides striata) – Daily in the llanos; in small numbers as widespread singles.
WHISTLING HERON (Syrigma sibilatrix) – One of the more attractive herons, and a specialty of South American grasslands, with disjunct northern and southern populations separated by Amazonia. Numbers were small, but we saw them daily and had some close views. On our last morning at Hato La Aurora we also had a fine "concert" of the "whistling" (?tooting) from a courting pair.
CAPPED HERON (Pilherodius pileatus) – One was along the Rio Ariporo at Hato La Aurora on our first afternoon.

Sharp-tailed Ibis is a regional specialty of the llanos, and one that we saw and heard daily coming and going from a roost near the lodge. (Photo by guide Richard Webster)

BLACK-CROWNED NIGHT-HERON (Nycticorax nycticorax) – Seen first in marshes in Bogota, then in small numbers in the llanos.
BOAT-BILLED HERON (Cochlearius cochlearius) – One (or more) flushed from a roost in woodland during a curassow search.
Threskiornithidae (Ibises and Spoonbills)
SCARLET IBIS (Eudocimus ruber) – Some spectacle would have been nice, but the individuals we saw in the llanos were spectacularly bright and most satisfying.
SHARP-TAILED IBIS (Cercibis oxycerca) – One of the specialties of a trip to the llanos: Sharp-tailed Ibis has a range limited to the llanos of Colombia and Venezuela and a small area on the Guyana-Brazil border. Typically in small numbers, it was widespread and commonly encountered at Hato La Aurora and environs. The calling of birds coming and going from a roost across from the dining area was enjoyed in addition to the good views.
BARE-FACED IBIS (Phimosus infuscatus) – Common in the llanos, where some wet pastures and rice fields had flocks of 100+ on the drives to and from the ranch. The species has also colonized the Sabana de Bogota and other highland wetlands.
BUFF-NECKED IBIS (Theristicus caudatus) – Fairly common in the llanos, pleasantly so, both for the striking plumage and the evocative "honking," one of the characteristic sounds of Hato La Aurora.
ROSEATE SPOONBILL (Platalea ajaja) – Daily in the llanos, mostly in flight, but often right overhead, for fine studies in pink.
Cathartidae (New World Vultures)
BLACK VULTURE (Coragyps atratus) – Common throughout, seen daily, although usually in very small numbers at high elevation or in forested areas.
TURKEY VULTURE (Cathartes aura) – Widespread in the llanos, where in moderate numbers. We had a nice study of one North American winterer on the bank of the Rio Ariporo in direct comparison with two local residents showing white napes and richer head colors. [b]
LESSER YELLOW-HEADED VULTURE (Cathartes burrovianus) – Also widespread in small numbers in the llanos--marshes and savannahs are favored habitat for this species. Several perched on fence posts provided good views of the varied colors on the head.

Lovely clouds were part of the scenery of the llanos, here during an early morning boat trip on the Rio Ariporo. (Photo by tour manager Caroline Lewis)

KING VULTURE (Sarcoramphus papa) – One adult was watched circling over Hato La Aurora.
Pandionidae (Osprey)
OSPREY (Pandion haliaetus) – Stefan spotted one flying by our lunch spot in PN Chingaza, unusual at 3600m, and another was fishing the waters of Laguna de Tabacal. [b]
Accipitridae (Hawks, Eagles, and Kites)
WHITE-TAILED KITE (Elanus leucurus) – Two singles were seen on the Sabana de Bogota and another at Hato La Aurora.
BLACK HAWK-EAGLE (Spizaetus tyrannus) – A very vocal pair (or family group?) was heard at length at Laguna de Tabacal, and one or two were seen distantly soaring over the ridge (but, based on the calls, were perched closer at times).
BLACK-COLLARED HAWK (Busarellus nigricollis) – Some folks saw one during our drive back to Yopal.
MISSISSIPPI KITE (Ictinia mississippiensis) – At least nine birds, none adults, were roosting in tall eucalyptus trees at Parque La Florida on 1 November. This was a highlight for several. On one hand, the entire world population migrates through Colombia, headed for southern South America, on the other the entire world population is not large (several hundred thousand), and an encounter like this a rare event, perhaps the result of the rains the day before. [b]
PLUMBEOUS KITE (Ictinia plumbea) – One or two daily at Hato La Aurora.
SHARP-SHINNED HAWK (PLAIN-BREASTED) (Accipiter striatus ventralis) – We had nice views of a soaring adult at Laguna de Tabacal. This was from a local breeding population--"Plain-breasted" Hawk, part of the Sharp-shinned complex, split by some into 2-4 species.
CRANE HAWK (Geranospiza caerulescens) – Two sightings in the llanos, both brief and for only part of the group.
SAVANNA HAWK (Buteogallus meridionalis) – Uncommon in the natural areas of the llanos, more common around rice fields and some pastures.
GREAT BLACK HAWK (Buteogallus urubitinga) – A half dozen were seen in the llanos.
ROADSIDE HAWK (Rupornis magnirostris) – Daily in small numbers in the llanos, with a couple more in the Bogota region. Genetic studies have shown in is not part of Buteo, and it has been returned to its old, monotypic genus.

Buff-necked Ibis were common in the llanos, and also roosted near the lodge. (Photo by guide Richard Webster)

WHITE-TAILED HAWK (Geranoaetus albicaudatus) – Uncommon in the llanos, where about four were seen. Based on a reorganization from genetic results, White-tailed Hawk is related to Black-chested Buzzard-Eagle and moved to its genus.
BLACK-CHESTED BUZZARD-EAGLE (Geranoaetus melanoleucus) – Nice looks at two in PN Chingaza.
BROAD-WINGED HAWK (Buteo platypterus) – Wintering birds had recently returned to the Andes, where we saw the species daily in the Bogota region, as high as 3400m in PN Chingaza. [b]
SHORT-TAILED HAWK (Buteo brachyurus) – One light-phased bird was seen at Pedro Paulo.
Eurypygidae (Sunbittern)
SUNBITTERN (Eurypyga helias) – Always a thrill, especially in flight! We found them widely scattered, particularly on the muddy shores of the Rio Ariporo, with a total of about eight for our visit to Hato La Aurora.
Rallidae (Rails, Gallinules, and Coots)

Sunbitterns were not common on our visit to the llanos, but we saw several well, including this bird along the banks of the Rio Ariporo. (Photo by guide Richard Webster)

BOGOTA RAIL (Rallus semiplumbeus) – A rainy morning in Bogota did not deter even a group that had mostly already seen this endemic! And with time, we found two singles in remnant marshes on the Sabana de Bogota. Good views. It is considered "Endangered," with a population under 2,500. [E]
GRAY-NECKED WOOD-RAIL (Aramides cajaneus) – Fairly common at Hato La Aurora, where the cackling duets were heard mornings and evenings, and individuals were seen daily, especially along the Rio Ariporo.
SORA (Porzana carolina) – A wintering bird was heard at Parque La Florida, near the southern limit of the migratory range. [b]
SPOT-FLANKED GALLINULE (Porphyriops melanops bogotensis) – This small, attractive gallinule was seen well at Parque La Florida. The subspecies is endemic to the Sabana de Bogota region, and disjunct from the extensive range in southern South America.
PURPLE GALLINULE (Porphyrio martinicus) – A couple were seen by some on our drive out to the Hato.
AZURE GALLINULE (Porphyrio flavirostris) – Trevor spotted a young bird and then Joshua an adult on Hato La Aurora, followed by several in large, permanent marshes on the way back to Yopal. They were real skulkers, but also stayed put for telescope views. Perhaps not as rare as we initially thought, but certainly very hard to locate.
COMMON GALLINULE (Gallinula galeata) – Common around Bogota.

Gray-necked Wood-Rail is not a specialty, but it is a special and fun bird that we saw regularly, and the duets were audible from our rooms. (Photo by guide Richard Webster)

AMERICAN COOT (Fulica americana columbiana) – Common at Parque La Florida. The distribution (an endemic subspecies) parallels that of the Ruddy Ducks, and our puzzlement parallels it, too!, but these are currently treated as the southern subspecies of American and not as part of Slate-colored/Andean.
Aramidae (Limpkin)
LIMPKIN (Aramus guarauna) – A few were seen in wetlands and rice fields along the way to Hato La Aurora, but not on the Hato itself (if there are Limpkins, there must be snails, but we did not see Snail Kites).
Burhinidae (Thick-knees)
DOUBLE-STRIPED THICK-KNEE (Burhinus bistriatus) – Not quite common, but pleasantly conspicuous at Hato La Aurora, where we saw them daily in the pastures.
Recurvirostridae (Stilts and Avocets)
BLACK-NECKED STILT (Himantopus mexicanus) – Small numbers were seen in the llanos, mostly in rice fields en route to the ranch, but also in a few wetlands at Hato La Aurora.
Charadriidae (Plovers and Lapwings)
PIED LAPWING (Vanellus cayanus) – This small, strikingly-patterned plover was seen in small numbers along the Rio Ariporo and on the shores of the larger wetlands on the ranch. One of Joshua's favorites of the trip.

Double-striped Thick-knee is widespread in savannas of the Neotropics, but not on very many tour routes, so it was great to visit a place where we could have regular sightings. (Photo by guide Richard Webster)

SOUTHERN LAPWING (Vanellus chilensis) – This large plover was very common in the pastures of the llanos, occurring also in small numbers in cleared areas in the Andes.
Jacanidae (Jacanas)
WATTLED JACANA (Jacana jacana) – Common in wetlands of the llanos.
Scolopacidae (Sandpipers and Allies)
SPOTTED SANDPIPER (Actitis macularius) – Perhaps a dozen in total, mostly in the llanos, but also at wetlands on the Sabana de Bogota. [b]
SOLITARY SANDPIPER (Tringa solitaria) – Wintering birds were likewise present both around Bogota and in the llanos. [b]
GREATER YELLOWLEGS (Tringa melanoleuca) – A flock of nine was resting at the marsh in Parque La Florida. [b]
LEAST SANDPIPER (Calidris minutilla) – Small flocks were seen twice in the llanos, first in a rice field en route, then on the muddy shores of one of the larger pools at Hato La Aurora. [b]
NOBLE SNIPE (Gallinago nobilis) – Careful scanning of marshes on the Sabana de Bogota produced good views of three of this uncommon, resident snipe.
Laridae (Gulls, Terns, and Skimmers)
YELLOW-BILLED TERN (Sternula superciliaris) – Two were resting with Large-bllled Terns at Hato La Aurora.
LARGE-BILLED TERN (Phaetusa simplex) – We had good looks several times at this striking tern of South American rivers.
Columbidae (Pigeons and Doves)
ROCK PIGEON (Columba livia) [I]
PALE-VENTED PIGEON (Patagioenas cayennensis) – Notably common at Hato La Aurora, where flocks of up to fifty were congregating at fruiting trees, and perhaps getting minerals from the river banks.

Obscure forest birds can be some of the most fun birds when a good look is to be had, as it was with this Scale-crested Pygmy-Tyrant, its ruffled rufous and black crest standing out. (Photo by guide Richard Webster)

BAND-TAILED PIGEON (WHITE-NECKED) (Patagioenas fasciata albilinea) – Seen on three days in the Andes, mostly in flight.
RUDDY GROUND-DOVE (Columbina talpacoti) – In small numbers in the llanos; most memorably, watched fighting over seemingly unlimited free food at Jardin Encantado (if you could tear your eyes away from the hummingbirds).
SCALED DOVE (Columbina squammata) – This attractive relative of Inca Dove was a yard bird at Hato La Aurora.
BLUE GROUND-DOVE (Claravis pretiosa) – Multiple encounters at Hato La Aurora, but typically the encounters were of birds in flight through the woodlands, with no lengthy looks.
WHITE-TIPPED DOVE (Leptotila verreauxi) – Daily in small numbers at Hato La Aurora.
GRAY-FRONTED DOVE (Leptotila rufaxilla) – Also present at Hato La Aurora, occurring in the same woodland areas as White-tipped.
LINED QUAIL-DOVE (Zentrygon linearis) – Heard at Chicaque and Pedro Palo. [*]
EARED DOVE (Zenaida auriculata) – Common around Bogota (a particularly dark and rusty subspecies, pentheria, splits not expected!), and in the llanos.
Opisthocomidae (Hoatzin)

Hoatzins were encountered several times in the gallery forest, and we had close views of this amazing animal. (Photo by guide Richard Webster)

HOATZIN (Opisthocomus hoazin) – One of the aesthetic treats of the trip--close encounters with chuffing groups along watercourses at Hato La Aurora. A recent genetic study (Prum et al., Nature, 2015) identified the Hoatzin as the basal family to all other landbirds, and with a rough age of 64 million years, the oldest extant lineage represented by a single species!
Cuculidae (Cuckoos)
LITTLE CUCKOO (Coccycua minuta) – Widespread, but not often seen well, so it was a treat to find a responsive bird at Hato La Aurora, and get lengthy views in the (relative) open.
SQUIRREL CUCKOO (Piaya cayana) – Widespread, with a few in the llanos followed by several up to 2300m in the Andes.
YELLOW-BILLED CUCKOO (Coccyzus americanus) – One was seen by part of the group at the edge of the llanos. [b]
STRIPED CUCKOO (Tapera naevia) – Heard almost daily at Hato La Aurora, and seen well twice.

Crested Caracara was a common sight on the llanos, and a pretty one at close range. (Photo by guide Richard Webster)

GREATER ANI (Crotophaga major) – One was at Parque La Florida, certainly one of the higher outposts of this species, and it was common in flocks along the Rio Ariporo and around wetlands on Hato La Aurora, where we had repeated views of the glossy plumage.
SMOOTH-BILLED ANI (Crotophaga ani) – Common in the llanos, with small numbers of upslope colonists around cleared areas in the Andes.
Strigidae (Owls)
TROPICAL SCREECH-OWL (Megascops choliba) – Heard nightly from our rooms at Hato La Aurora, and for those who hung in there for a second attempt (Joshua!), good views.
GREAT HORNED OWL (Bubo virginianus) – We were taken to see a roosting bird near our rooms at Hato La Aurora. Widespread in South America, but seldom as numerous as in North America.
ANDEAN PYGMY-OWL (Glaucidium jardinii) – A responsive bird at Chicaque was a treat--widespread in the Andes, but not often seen.
BURROWING OWL (Athene cunicularia) – We had good views several times in the pastures at Hato La Aurora.

Black-and-white Owl was a surprise at Hato La Aurora; known from the foothills of the Andes not too far away, it seemed less likely than its congener out on the flats. (Photo by guide Richard Webster)

BLACK-AND-WHITE OWL (Ciccaba nigrolineata) – One of the more interesting discoveries of this new tour. We had been hearing (and puzzling over) a large owl at Hato La Aurora, and eventually saw it--a Black-and-white. Known from the east slope of the eastern Andes of Colombia (not that far away), Black-banded had seemed more likely because of the lowland location. But apparently this species follows river courses out into the llanos.
Caprimulgidae (Nightjars and Allies)
NACUNDA NIGHTHAWK (Chordeiles nacunda) – Two were seen at dusk, chasing lower over a pasture at Hato La Aurora, the striking plumage evident in the light.
BAND-TAILED NIGHTHAWK (Nyctiprogne leucopyga) – Two were heard at Hato La Aurora, one of which responded initially with several close passes.
COMMON PAURAQUE (Nyctidromus albicollis) – Heard from our rooms at Hato La Aurora, and common on evening returns to the lodge.
Nyctibiidae (Potoos)

White-tailed Goldenthroat was a prize, found in marshy areas as we returned to Yopal across the llanos. (Photo by guide Richard Webster)

COMMON POTOO (Nyctibius griseus) – Heard a couple of times at Hato La Aurora, and one responsive bird made a close pass to our truck on the way back to the lodge.
Apodidae (Swifts)
CHESTNUT-COLLARED SWIFT (Streptoprocne rutila) – A small group was seen high over Hato La Aurora, identified by shape rather than plumage.
WHITE-COLLARED SWIFT (Streptoprocne zonaris) – A few were seen over the western edge of the llanos as we started on our way to Hato La Aurora.
SHORT-TAILED SWIFT (Chaetura brachyura) – Small numbers were seen over Hato La Aurora.
GRAY-RUMPED SWIFT (Chaetura cinereiventris) – Seen briefly over Hato La Aurora.
Trochilidae (Hummingbirds)
WHITE-NECKED JACOBIN (Florisuga mellivora) – Such is the diversity of Andean hummingbirds and their mobility responding to resources, we had seven hummingbird write-ins while missing 15 reasonable possibilities on the checklist! This species, a member of the small ancestral lineage of hummingbirds, was seen at Jardin Encantado.
WHITE-BEARDED HERMIT (Phaethornis hispidus) – We saw several at Hato La Aurora.

Brown Violetear is an uncommon bird that we saw only at the Jardin Encantado's feeders, and saw it very well, obviously! (Photo by guide Richard Webster)

BROWN VIOLETEAR (Colibri delphinae) – This species is widespread, but somewhat uncommon and local. There were not many at Jardin Encantada, but they were cooperative.
GREEN VIOLETEAR (Colibri thalassinus) – Seen in small numbers on three day trips out from Bogota, with many more heard "singing" away.
SPARKLING VIOLETEAR (Colibri coruscans) – Ditto, plus conspicuous at Jardin Encantado.
WHITE-TAILED GOLDENTHROAT (Polytmus guainumbi) – This genus is unusual for its habitat preferences, various savannah and marsh ensembles. We were excited to find several feeding at flowers in marshes along the road back to Yopal, as spotted first by Peter, and had good looks at underparts (more green than golden, but glistening) and extensive white in the tail.
RUBY-TOPAZ HUMMINGBIRD (Chrysolampis mosquitus) – Widespread in dry habitats, but uncommon and always a good find. We were fortunate to have repeated visits by a male to the feeders at Jardin Encantado, where it is probably a casual upslope wanderer from the Magdalena Valley.
BLACK-THROATED MANGO (Anthracothorax nigricollis) – Peter saw one at Hato La Aurora, and the species was common at Jardin Encantado--endless good looks, always in view.
TOURMALINE SUNANGEL (Heliangelus exortis) – Fairly common at Chicaque, where we saw them very well at feeders, and also saw them regularly in the forest.
SPECKLED HUMMINGBIRD (Adelomyia melanogenys) – One at Chicaque was seen by just a couple of folks.

Golden-bellied Starfrontlet is a difficult bird that is now coming to feeders at Chicaque; we did see an adult male, but only managed photos like this, still a lovely bird. (Photo by guide Richard Webster)

BRONZE-TAILED THORNBILL (Chalcostigma heteropogon) – Not technically a Colombian Endemic, it is endemic to the Eastern Cordillera, which happens to include a sliver of Venezuela. This is a tough bird, and we were happy to find one in the paramo of PN Chingaza. We had reasonable views, even in the telescope, across a small quebrada.
TYRIAN METALTAIL (Metallura tyrianthina) – Just a few in the Andes above Bogota: Our first morning at Guadalupe and then at PN Chingaza.
GLOWING PUFFLEG (Eriocnemis vestita) – A brief female our first morning, then on our return to Bogota, seen by some at Chicaque and by all at PN Chingaza, where fairly common this visit.
COPPERY-BELLIED PUFFLEG (Eriocnemis cupreoventris) – This local species also occurs in the Merida Andes of Venezuela, but is a good find anywhere. We had good views of several on the slopes above downtown Bogota. It is considered "Near Threatened."
BLACK INCA (Coeligena prunellei) – This difficult endemic was seen twice at Pedro Paulo after missing it at Chicaque. Any sighting is good; we have no feeders on this tour route for it, and are dependent on finding them moving around the forest, this time at clusters of long, tubular red flowers. It is considered "Vulnerable," with a population under 10,000. [E]
COLLARED INCA (Coeligena torquata) – Fairly common at Chicaque, where visiting feeders and visiting flowers in the forest; one of the most striking hummingbirds of the trip.
GOLDEN-BELLIED STARFRONTLET (Coeligena bonapartei) – This tough species has become easier at feeders at Chicaque, although how "solid" that is remains to be seen. In any event, we had good views of a couple. We saw the nominate form; some split off one or both other subspecies, which can make this one an endemic (e.g., HBW Alive).
MOUNTAIN VELVETBREAST (Lafresnaya lafresnayi) – One or two were coming to feeders at Chicaque.

White-bellied Woodstars were pleasantly common on this visit to the Jardin Encantado, and we saw many males and females. (Photo by guide Richard Webster)

GREAT SAPPHIREWING (Pterophanes cyanopterus) – One hovering bird was seen as we birded our way out of PN Chingaza, seen by all, but there were many distractions (Black-chested Mountain-Tanager, . . ); the second largest hummingbird.
BOOTED RACKET-TAIL (Ocreatus underwoodii) – Joshua spotted a male "earning an honest living" = feeding at flowers at Pedro Paulo, and we all had good views.
WHITE-BELLIED WOODSTAR (Chaetocercus mulsant) – Notably common, especially adult males, at Jardin Encantado; many great views.
GORGETED WOODSTAR (Chaetocercus heliodor) – Two or three females were periodically visiting the feeders at Jardin Encantado; a scarce species and a nice sighting.
RED-BILLED EMERALD (Chlorostilbon gibsoni) – Male and female emeralds at Jardin Encantado appeared to be this species, presumably upslope foragers from the Magdalena Valley; identification of emeralds is a challenge, and other species would be possible.
BLUE-TAILED EMERALD (Chlorostilbon mellisugus) – One to three were seen daily, most often around flowers at our lodge at Hato La Aurora; good views.
WHITE-VENTED PLUMELETEER (Chalybura buffonii) – Fairly common at Jardin Encantado, but on the scale of the throng there, a minor player. Plenty of good views.
CROWNED WOODNYMPH (Thalurania colombica) – A few were seen around Pedro Paulo, with at least one at Jardin Encantado.
ANDEAN EMERALD (Amazilia franciae) – One made occasional appearances at the Jardin Encantado feeders, often enough to be seen by all.
GLITTERING-THROATED EMERALD (Amazilia fimbriata) – We struggled a little with Versicolored versus Glittering-throated. The subspecies milleri of Versicolored is what occurs in eastern Colombia, and differs in crown color and throat color from Glittering-throated, so we are now confident we only saw Glittering-throated. We saw this species several times at Hato La Aurora, with good photos to help with the ID.

Indigo-capped Hummingbird is a local endemic that we saw only at the Jardin, but they were common at the feeders. (Photo by guide Richard Webster)

INDIGO-CAPPED HUMMINGBIRD (Amazilia cyanifrons) – This endemic was one of the most common species at Jardin Encantado; endless good views of dozens. [E]
RUFOUS-TAILED HUMMINGBIRD (Amazilia tzacatl) – Common, but not dominant, at Jardin Encantado.
SHINING-GREEN HUMMINGBIRD (Lepidopyga goudoti) – One at Jardin Encantado, a sub-adult male?, was seen several times at the feeders; like a couple of other species there, presumably an upslope wanderer/migrant.
Alcedinidae (Kingfishers)
RINGED KINGFISHER (Megaceryle torquata) – Common on our river trip at Hato La Aurora, with scattered others around the llanos.
AMAZON KINGFISHER (Chloroceryle amazona) – Just three in our llanos sojourn.
GREEN KINGFISHER (Chloroceryle americana) – Also just a few in the llanos, plus one at Laguna de Tabacal.
Bucconidae (Puffbirds)
RUSSET-THROATED PUFFBIRD (Hypnelus ruficollis) – Heard a couple of times, but not responsive, and never seen; surprisingly inconspicuous? H. r. bicinctus (the "Double-banded" group). [*]
Galbulidae (Jacamars)
PALE-HEADED JACAMAR (Brachygalba goeringi) – Larry loved this bird, and the rest of us were pretty darn happy as well! One of the true llanos specialties that turned out to be fairly common at Hato La Aurora, seen first on an afternoon walk near the lodge, and then a number of times thereafter, especially from the boat on the Rio Ariporo.

Baby Capybaras are pretty cute. These were too small to follow the adults into the river as we passed, instead remaining on the bank. (Photo by guide Richard Webster)

RUFOUS-TAILED JACAMAR (Galbula ruficauda) – A perfectly fine jacamar, but in comparison with Pale-headed, not a regional specialty. Heard or seen once a day in the llanos.
Capitonidae (New World Barbets)
RED-HEADED BARBET (Eubucco bourcierii) – This lovely bird was seen at Pedro Paulo, then again at lunch down the road, where a stunning bird was coming to the restaurant's fruit tray feeder.
Ramphastidae (Toucans)
EMERALD TOUCANET (Aulacorhynchus prasinus) – Several were seen, and a couple more heard, at Chicaque. We saw A. p. albivitta (the "Andean" group), a subspecies with a whitish throat (many splits have been proposed; keep track of where you see them).
CHESTNUT-EARED ARACARI (Pteroglossus castanotis) – We had several sightings of family groups in woodland at Hato La Aurora.
MANY-BANDED ARACARI (Pteroglossus pluricinctus) – This Amazonian aracari was seen at our random breakfast stop after leaving Yopal.
Picidae (Woodpeckers)
SCALED PICULET (Picumnus squamulatus) – We saw two, and heard a couple more, in woodland and scrub at Hato La Aurora. Like many piculets, this species has a limited range, here to drier areas of Colombia and Venezuela, and while not a llanos specialty, it is close to that.
OLIVACEOUS PICULET (Picumnus olivaceus) – One at Chicaque was followed by better views of two at Pedro Paulo.

Not so cute as the baby Capybaras? Black Caiman were seen a few times along the Rio Ariporo, another sign of good conservation practices; the species is gone from many areas. (Photo by guide Richard Webster)

ACORN WOODPECKER (Melanerpes formicivorus) – Around the southern end of its range (and not coincidentally, the range of oaks); unfortunately, we could not lay eyes on them. [*]
RED-CROWNED WOODPECKER (Melanerpes rubricapillus) – Daily in the llanos, with a few on the lower slopes of the Andes.
SMOKY-BROWN WOODPECKER (Picoides fumigatus) – One at Chicaque and three at Pedro Palo.
LITTLE WOODPECKER (Veniliornis passerinus) – A pair was seen in gallery forest at Hato La Aurora.
CRIMSON-MANTLED WOODPECKER (Colaptes rivolii) – One at Chicaque was seen by half of the group, and another was heard the next day at PN Chingaza.
SPOT-BREASTED WOODPECKER (Colaptes punctigula) – At least four of this open-country woodpecker were seen in the llanos, and another was on the lower slope of the Andes at Laguna de Tabacal.
LINEATED WOODPECKER (Dryocopus lineatus) – This large woodpecker was recorded daily in the llanos, with several seen well and a few more heard.
CRIMSON-CRESTED WOODPECKER (Campephilus melanoleucos) – This large woodpecker was also seen several times at Hato La Aurora.
Falconidae (Falcons and Caracaras)
COLLARED FOREST-FALCON (Micrastur semitorquatus) – Heard twice, once quite close, but efforts to see it failed. Grrrr! It probably saw us very well at some point. [*]

Greater Anis are, like other anis, social birds, and flocks were common along the watercourses of the llanos. (Photo by guide Richard Webster)

CRESTED CARACARA (Caracara cheriway) – Common in the llanos. Ho-hum in some ways, but a striking, lovely bird.
YELLOW-HEADED CARACARA (Milvago chimachima chimachima) – This scavenger was even more common than Crested.
LAUGHING FALCON (Herpetotheres cachinnans) – Heard distantly twice at Hato La Aurora. [*]
AMERICAN KESTREL (Falco sparverius) – Resident birds were fairly common in the llanos, with as many as a couple dozen on the drive from Yopal to the ranch.
APLOMADO FALCON (Falco femoralis) – Far from common, but we did manage to see it every day in the llanos, with several good looks at this open-country falcon.
BAT FALCON (Falco rufigularis) – One seen in flight above the Rio Ariporo during our boat trip.
Psittacidae (New World and African Parrots)
YELLOW-CROWNED PARROT (Amazona ochrocephala) – Less numerous than Orange-winged at Hato La Aurora, but still seen daily in small numbers.
ORANGE-WINGED PARROT (Amazona amazonica) – Common, with dozens seen daily at Hato La Aurora.
SPECTACLED PARROTLET (Forpus conspicillatus) – A pair was seen along the river at Hato La Aurora, where a few more were heard (not common), and a few were also seen at Laguna de Tabacal.

Brown-throated Parakeets were feeding in the "yard" of the lodge, making photography easy. (Photo by guide Richard Webster)

BROWN-THROATED PARAKEET (Eupsittula pertinax) – Common in the llanos. Not very dramatic in flight, but we had perched birds several times, and found them attractive in the telescope.
CHESTNUT-FRONTED MACAW (Ara severus) – A trio flew over our boat on the Rio Ariporo.
BLUE-CROWNED PARAKEET (BLUE-CROWNED) (Thectocercus acuticaudatus koenigi) – Pleasantly common in the llanos; many good views. This species consists of several widely disjunct populations differing in color and size; splits are possible; genetically, it has been removed from Aratinga and returned to its original genus.
Thamnophilidae (Typical Antbirds)
BLACK-CRESTED ANTSHRIKE (Sakesphorus canadensis) – One responsive bird was seen well in gallery forest at Hato La Aurora, and a handful more were heard. We saw S. c. intermedius.
BARRED ANTSHRIKE (Thamnophilus doliatus) – Seen twice at Hato La Aurora, and a few more heard.
BAR-CRESTED ANTSHRIKE (Thamnophilus multistriatus) – Almost endemic to Colombia, but it occurs in far western Venezuela. We had a pair at Laguna de Tabacal, and heard several more.
PLAIN ANTVIREO (Dysithamnus mentalis) – A pair was with a mixed flock in a forest patch at Pedro Paulo; good views of responsive birds.
WHITE-FRINGED ANTWREN (NORTHERN) (Formicivora grisea fumosa) – We saw a pair at Hato La Aurora, the female of which was whitish below with dark streaking, making it part of F. g. fumosa, which is allied with F. g. intermedia of N Colombia; and different from F. g. rufiventris (female unstreaked rufous below), which occurs in much of eastern Colombia. Splits are expected in this species.

Bigfoot of Colombia! The wing claw of the Horned Screamer is visible, as is the crest spike of this strange bird. Strange but wonderful, and a routine sight in the llanos around Hato La Aurora. (Photo by guide Richard Webster)

DUSKY ANTBIRD (Cercomacroides tyrannina) – Heard and then seen in a thicket at Laguna de Tabacal.
JET ANTBIRD (Cercomacra nigricans) – In the ups and downs of birding, this was an up--good views at Laguna de Tabacal without having to crawl into the thicket after it. These can be skulkers, but we had good views without much difficulty.
WHITE-BELLIED ANTBIRD (Myrmeciza longipes) – A little side trail made getting inside the habitat easy at Laguna de Tabacal, and we had nice views of this understory (often terrestrial) antbird. We saw M. l. boucardi.
Grallariidae (Antpittas)
CHESTNUT-CROWNED ANTPITTA (Grallaria ruficapilla) – Heard several times at Chicaque, and a responsive bird progressively allowed views for all! A widespread and common antpitta, which does not mean it can't be thoroughly difficult.
RUFOUS ANTPITTA (Grallaria rufula) – Common by voice in PN Chingaza, and a couple were seen with some patience. Rufous Antpitta will be split, perhaps into eight species, and this population, currently unnamed, is likely to be one of them.
TAWNY ANTPITTA (Grallaria quitensis alticola) – Just to prove that we aren't perfect with antpittas, we could not see a feather of at least a couple of calling birds in the paramo at PN Chingaza. Often an easy antpitta to see, birds here are usually highly resistant to entreaties. This subspecies differs vocally from others and is a potential split.

An exceptionally clear day is not always the best for birding (too much sun!), but it was a treat to be able to see the volcanoes of the Central Andes from the Eastern, with Laguna Pedro Paulo in the foreground. (Photo by guide Richard Webster)

RUSTY-BREASTED ANTPITTA (RARA) (Grallaricula ferrugineipectus rara) – After hearing a couple of distant birds at Pedro Paulo, we worked on several at Laguna de Tabacal, where most of them have heard recordings before! Eventually we were fortunate to have a silent bird move by us, allowing good views of this more arboreal genus.
Rhinocryptidae (Tapaculos)
BLACKISH TAPACULO (Scytalopus latrans) – Good views of a responsive bird at Chicaque, where more were heard. Currently included in wide-ranging nominate latrans, further subspecific descriptions are likely from the E Cordillera and elsewhere.
SPILLMANN'S TAPACULO (Scytalopus spillmanni) – We only heard this one at Chicaque; an undescribed population. [*]
PALE-BELLIED TAPACULO (Scytalopus griseicollis) – Heard above Bogota our first morning, then seen at PN Chingaza. a.k.a. Matorral Tapaculo. Endemic to the region, but also just into Venezuela. We saw the nominate form.
Furnariidae (Ovenbirds and Woodcreepers)
STRAIGHT-BILLED WOODCREEPER (Dendroplex picus) – Heard daily, and seen a couple of times, in the llanos at Hato La Aurora. With about a dozen named subspecies, there is much variation in this "species"; we apparently saw D. p. saturatior, although how that population relates to D. p. phalara of the llanos of Venezuela is not clear (certainly to us!).
RED-BILLED SCYTHEBILL (Campylorhamphus trochilirostris venezuelensis) – Joshua got us on this exciting woodcreeper at Laguna de Tabacal; we had quick views twice, but could not bring it back for longer observations.

Pearled Treerunner was out there in the misty forests of Chicaque, but when the neblina moved through, sometimes our views deteriorated! Actually, the mist kept the activity good all day -- better than sun. (Photo by tour manager Caroline Lewis)

STREAK-HEADED WOODCREEPER (Lepidocolaptes souleyetii) – We saw two at Laguna de Tabacal; a species typical of the Magdalena Valley.
MONTANE WOODCREEPER (Lepidocolaptes lacrymiger) – Good views with several flocks at Chicaque.
STREAKED XENOPS (Xenops rutilans) – We first saw them with mixed flocks at Chicaque, then saw another at Pedro Paulo.
MONTANE FOLIAGE-GLEANER (Anabacerthia striaticollis) – It was fairly common with mixed flocks at both Chicaque and Pedro Paulo, and we had multiple good views.
LINEATED FOLIAGE-GLEANER (Syndactyla subalaris) – A skulker of the understory, we were fortunate to have a couple of relatively brash birds at Pedro Paulo.
STRIPED TREEHUNTER (Thripadectes holostictus) – Another skulker, we encountered a responsive bird, and enjoyed good views of it in bamboo along the track at Chicaque. Any and all treehunters are a bit of triumph.
PEARLED TREERUNNER (Margarornis squamiger) – Surprisingly, we just saw one of this widespread and lovely species, and not all that well (Chicaque).
RUFOUS-FRONTED THORNBIRD (Phacellodomus rufifrons) – Common at Hato La Aurora, including within earshot of our rooms. Good views daily of P. r. inornatus (part of the "Plain" group). a.k.a. Common Thornbird.
WHITE-BROWED SPINETAIL (Hellmayrea gularis) – This striking, distinctive spinetail was seen well in a bamboo clump high on the slopes of PN Chingaza. We saw nominate H. g. gularis.
MANY-STRIPED CANASTERO (Asthenes flammulata multostriata) – A responsive bird provided good views in the misty paramo of PN Chingaza.
WHITE-CHINNED THISTLETAIL (Asthenes fuliginosa) – With some playback we managed some good views of one at PN Chingaza; we saw the nominate subspecies.
RUSTY-BACKED SPINETAIL (Cranioleuca vulpina) – One of the fun finds at Hato La Aurora was a responsive pair in the gallery forest.
ASH-BROWED SPINETAIL (Cranioleuca curtata) – We started with a very responsive bird with a flock at Chicaque, and later saw a couple more at Pedro Paulo. It is considered "Vulnerable."
YELLOW-CHINNED SPINETAIL (Certhiaxis cinnamomeus) – We had nice views of a pair along the road to Hato La Aurora, and heard more of this marshbird on the way back.
SILVERY-THROATED SPINETAIL (Synallaxis subpudica) – It took a while and then it took a bit of a struggle, but we eventually saw this endemic in hedgerows below PN Chingaza. [E]
PALE-BREASTED SPINETAIL (Synallaxis albescens) – Heard daily in the llanos, and seen after some playback at Hato La Aurora.
RUFOUS SPINETAIL (Synallaxis unirufa) – We found an unusually responsive bird at Chicaque right near the start, and then glimpsed and heard more.
STRIPE-BREASTED SPINETAIL (Synallaxis cinnamomea) – This is a difficult spinetail, and it was for a while, but after hearing them at Pedro Paulo and Laguna de Tabacal, we ran into a responsive pair of this attractive species. It is not a specialty of Colombia, but fewer tours are visiting its Venezuelan range these days.
Tyrannidae (Tyrant Flycatchers)
SOUTHERN BEARDLESS-TYRANNULET (Camptostoma obsoletum) – Daily in small numbers in the llanos; also at Laguna de Tabacal.

Our lunch spot in the dramatic landscape of PN Chingaza at 3600m elevation, waiting for a certain hummingbird that did not show (but an Osprey did!). (Photo by guide Richard Webster)

WHITE-TAILED TYRANNULET (Mecocerculus poecilocercus) – We found this canopy tyrannulet with a couple of flocks on the lower slope of Chicaque; good views of a responsive pair.
WHITE-THROATED TYRANNULET (Mecocerculus leucophrys) – Seen well on our three days at higher elevation around Bogota; always a preferred tyrannulet because it is conspicuous and easy to identify!
AGILE TIT-TYRANT (Uromyias agilis) – This uncommon species is always a good find; we found a pair in bamboo above Bogota.
MOUSE-COLORED TYRANNULET (Phaeomyias murina) – One was seen in scrub at Hato La Aurora; it was P. m. incomta, part of the nominate group (splits can be expected).
YELLOW TYRANNULET (Capsiempis flaveola) – In the same scrub as the Mouse-colored; good views of a responsive pair.
SUBTROPICAL DORADITO (Pseudocolopteryx acutipennis) – We saw a responsive bird at Parque La Florida; this is a difficult bird here, and this population is moderately isolated from others (but it is a monotypic species).

What could teeth like that do to the Cocoramas of our lunch (previous picture), let alone the passion fruit? No problem opening the cans of Club Colombia for this guy! This is a Spectacled Caiman, and it was at Hato La Aurora, and we did not invite it to our meals. (Photo by guide Richard Webster)

YELLOW-CROWNED TYRANNULET (Tyrannulus elatus) [*]
FOREST ELAENIA (Myiopagis gaimardii) [*]
GREENISH ELAENIA (Myiopagis viridicata) – Seen twice in the drier forest at Laguna de Tabacal. M. v. pallens.
YELLOW-BELLIED ELAENIA (Elaenia flavogaster) – Daily, at least by voice, in the llanos, with more at Laguna de Tabacal.
LESSER ELAENIA (Elaenia chiriquensis) – We had several at Hato La Aurora, including in the same fruiting tree as a Yellow-bellied; nice visual and vocal comparisons helped, but Elaenias are tough!
MOUNTAIN ELAENIA (Elaenia frantzii) – One at Chicaque was followed by many at Pedro Paulo.
OCHRE-BELLIED FLYCATCHER (Mionectes oleagineus) – As for many lowland species, Laguna de Tabacal at 1300m is still suitable habitat.
SEPIA-CAPPED FLYCATCHER (Leptopogon amaurocephalus) – We heard them on several days at Hato La Aurora, and saw one responsive bird well there.
SLATY-CAPPED FLYCATCHER (Leptopogon superciliaris) [*]
SOOTY-HEADED TYRANNULET (Phyllomyias griseiceps) – After hearing them, we had good views at Pedro Paulo.

Mouse-colored Tyrannulet and several other small tyrannulets were found in this brushy savanna at Hato La Aurora. (Photo by tour manager Caroline Lewis)

BLACK-CAPPED TYRANNULET (Phyllomyias nigrocapillus) – One at Chicaque was with a mixed flock; good views of this tiny flycatcher.
ASHY-HEADED TYRANNULET (Phyllomyias cinereiceps) – Also at Chicaque, one seen after lunch along the edge of the lodge clearing.
TAWNY-RUMPED TYRANNULET (Phyllomyias uropygialis) – Widespread, but generally local, and always a good find. We had nice views on the slopes above Bogota our first morning.
GOLDEN-FACED TYRANNULET (GOLDEN-FACED) (Zimmerius chrysops chrysops) – This bird was fairly common on the lower slopes below Bogota, with sightings at Pedro Paulo and Laguna de Tabacal. This species is a taxonomic mess full of puzzles; keep track of where you see them.
NORTHERN SCRUB-FLYCATCHER (Sublegatus arenarum) – We had one in, appropriately, scrub at Hato La Aurora.
PALE-TIPPED TYRANNULET (Inezia caudata) – On our last morning at Hato La Aurora, we found a couple on the savannah side of gallery forest; this is the nominate taxa, and is not well known from the llanos of Colombia (it is in Venezuela). As split from Amazonian Tyrannulet. a.k.a. Pale-tipped Inezia.
SCALE-CRESTED PYGMY-TYRANT (Lophotriccus pileatus) – A common bird in the Andes, but that doesn't mean it is easy to see, or at least as well as we had the one at Pedro Paulo, much to Joshua's pleasure.
PALE-EYED PYGMY-TYRANT (Atalotriccus pilaris) – Fairly common by voice at Hato La Aurora, and we managed to see several as well.
BLACK-THROATED TODY-TYRANT (Hemitriccus granadensis) – Trevor's spot produced at Chicaque, and we had excellent views. As Trevor noted, splits are possible along the Andes; we saw H. g. andinus.
RUFOUS-CROWNED TODY-FLYCATCHER (Poecilotriccus ruficeps) – This beautiful flycatcher was responsive and confiding in the bamboo along the steep track at Chicaque.
SLATE-HEADED TODY-FLYCATCHER (Poecilotriccus sylvia) – After hearing several we worked on seeing one, and had good views in the tangled canopy of short forest at Laguna de Tabacal.

The llanos are flat! This lagoon was home to such special birds as Orinoco Goose and Jabiru, with affectionate mention of Least Sandpipers! (Photo by guide Richard Webster)

COMMON TODY-FLYCATCHER (Todirostrum cinereum) – Heard daily and seen periodically both in the llanos and the lower slopes of the Andes.
YELLOW-OLIVE FLYCATCHER (Tolmomyias sulphurescens) – We had good views of a pair in a disturbed area below Pedro Paulo, and heard more at Laguna de Tabacal. Another species from which splits are expected when someone has the time for a massive project; we saw T. s. asemus.
YELLOW-BREASTED FLYCATCHER (Tolmomyias flaviventris) – Fairly common by voice, with several seen, at Hato La Aurora. The form in the llanos is T. f. aurulentus; some lists split this species, in which case we saw Ochre-lored Flycatcher = Flatbill.
CINNAMON FLYCATCHER (Pyrrhomyias cinnamomeus) – Fairly common at Chicaque.
FLAVESCENT FLYCATCHER (Myiophobus flavicans) – Probably not all that rare, but often inconspicuous, so it always seems like a nice find; we saw them twice at Chicaque.
SMOKE-COLORED PEWEE (Contopus fumigatus) [*]
EASTERN WOOD-PEWEE (Contopus virens) – One seen and one heard our first rainy morning in Bogota, with another at Chicaque. [b]
ACADIAN FLYCATCHER (Empidonax virescens) – A couple were seen at Pedro Paulo, and more heard; near the southern edge of the winter range. [b]

Black-throated Tody-Tyrant is cloud-forest skulker that we were fortunate to find at Chicaque. (Photo by guide Richard Webster)

BLACK PHOEBE (Sayornis nigricans) – One was at Parque La Florida on the Sabana de Bogota.
VERMILION FLYCATCHER (Pyrocephalus rubinus) – Singles were seen at Laguna de Tabacal and Jardin Encantado. (Interesting that the llanos is not preferred habitat.)
YELLOW-BROWED TYRANT (Satrapa icterophrys) – Trevor's spot worked again, three years later; good views at Hato La Aurora. This species is an austral migrant, but these are apparently part of a small, disjunct, resident population in the llanos.
STREAK-THROATED BUSH-TYRANT (Myiotheretes striaticollis) – Safety rules are that one has to get out of a commercial van when refueling at a gas station. Sometimes there is a new bird for the triplist as a reward!
PIED WATER-TYRANT (Fluvicola pica) – Only a few in the llanos.
WHITE-HEADED MARSH TYRANT (Arundinicola leucocephala) – Similarly, not especially common, but good views of this one, too.
CROWNED CHAT-TYRANT (CROWNED) (Ochthoeca frontalis albidiadema) – A skulker in treeline forest, it was a learning experience for the guides that the subspecies of the eastern Andes does not have a yellow lore. Good views at PN Chingaza.
SLATY-BACKED CHAT-TYRANT (Ochthoeca cinnamomeiventris) – Another skulker, this one at Chicaque, where we ended up with good views of a responsive bird (nominate subspecies).
BROWN-BACKED CHAT-TYRANT (Ochthoeca fumicolor) – Seen well several times at PN Chingaza; one of the "good" chat-tyrants.

Cattle Tyrants are not as fussy about their habitat as the name might imply! (Photo by guide Richard Webster)

CATTLE TYRANT (Machetornis rixosa) – Daily in the llanos. And yes, we saw Horse Tyrants and Pig Tyrants, too!
DUSKY-CAPPED FLYCATCHER (Myiarchus tuberculifer) [*]
PALE-EDGED FLYCATCHER (Myiarchus cephalotes) – One at Chicaque, just as we loaded up to leave.
BROWN-CRESTED FLYCATCHER (Myiarchus tyrannulus) – Not common in the llanos, but seen a couple of times at Hato La Aurora.
LESSER KISKADEE (Pitangus lictor) – Seen several times at Hato La Aurora.
GREAT KISKADEE (Pitangus sulphuratus) – Common in the llanos, with a few upslope in the Andes following clearings, one as high as Bogota (Parque La Florida).
BOAT-BILLED FLYCATCHER (Megarynchus pitangua) – Small numbers in the llanos, including near the lodge.
RUSTY-MARGINED FLYCATCHER (Myiozetetes cayanensis) – Like some of the other big flycatchers, common in the llanos, with a few in cleared areas of the Andean lower slopes.
SOCIAL FLYCATCHER (Myiozetetes similis) – A few at the edge of the llanos.

White-bearded Flycatcher is one of the specialties of the llanos, and we had several nice encounters with this monotypic genus at Hato La Aurora. (Photo by guide Richard Webster)

WHITE-BEARDED FLYCATCHER (Phelpsia inornata) – One of the specialties, seen well daily at Hato La Aurora, starting our first afternoon near the lodge. It was not common (or was just quiet), but when found, great views, plus the fun chattering duet. This species, in a monotypic genus, is limited to the llanos of Colombia and Venezuela.
GOLDEN-CROWNED FLYCATCHER (Myiodynastes chrysocephalus) [*]
STREAKED FLYCATCHER (Myiodynastes maculatus) – One was seen in woodland at Hato La Aurora.
TROPICAL KINGBIRD (Tyrannus melancholicus) – Another big flycatcher: Common in the llanos, smaller numbers on the lower Andean slopes, even a few as high as Bogota.
FORK-TAILED FLYCATCHER (Tyrannus savana) – Common at times at Hato La Aurora, perhaps as many as 75 in a day, occurring in patches, sometimes of 10-20 in close proximity, and also as small groups overhead, all suggesting migratory populations (with multiple migratory populations in the Neotropics, it is hard to know what is going on).
Cotingidae (Cotingas)
GREEN-AND-BLACK FRUITEATER (Pipreola riefferii) – We had good views of a male feeding quietly at Chicaque.
RED-CRESTED COTINGA (Ampelion rubrocristatus) – We saw one perched bird at PN Chingaza.
Pipridae (Manakins)
WHITE-BEARDED MANAKIN (Manacus manacus) – Heard several times at Laguna de Tabacal, but elusive on this visit. [*]
Tityridae (Tityras and Allies)

A group of Capybaras emerging from the river at Hato La Aurora (Photo by guide Richard Webster)

CINEREOUS BECARD (Pachyramphus rufus) – A widespread but generally uncommon becard, Colombia seems to be a good place to see it. We had two sightings, the first near the lodge at Hato La Aurora on our first afternoon, both male and female at close range in the shrubbery, and then another pair, more distant, at Laguna de Tabacal.
WHITE-WINGED BECARD (Pachyramphus polychopterus) – We saw a pair in woodland at Hato La Aurora, the very black P. p. nigriventris (=tristis), and one of the paler, western subspecies (probably dorsalis) was seen by part of the group at Pedro Paulo.
Vireonidae (Vireos, Shrike-Babblers, and Erpornis)
BROWN-CAPPED VIREO (Vireo leucophrys) – This resident relative of Warbling Vireo was seen on three of our days out of Bogota, often with mixed flocks.
RED-EYED VIREO (Vireo olivaceus) – A few in the llanos were followed by a few in the Andes. We did not work at it, but there appeared to be boreal migrants (e.g., Pedro Paulo) and resident types (Hato La Aurora). [b]
SCRUB GREENLET (Hylophilus flavipes) – Heard in the llanos, and seen at Laguna de Tabacal. What is in a name? Rename it "Cryptic Greenlet" and there will be more interest!
RUFOUS-NAPED GREENLET (Pachysylvia semibrunnea) – Not an endemic, but Colombia remains the easiest country in which to see it. We had good views below Pedro Paulo.

Violaceous Jays were regular in small flocks around Hato La Aurora, here eating fruit along the Rio Ariporo. (Photo by guide Richard Webster)

RUFOUS-BROWED PEPPERSHRIKE (Cyclarhis gujanensis) – We heard a couple in the llanos and followed that up with sightings at Pedro Paulo and Laguna de Tabacal.
BLACK-BILLED PEPPERSHRIKE (Cyclarhis nigrirostris) [*]
Corvidae (Crows, Jays, and Magpies)
VIOLACEOUS JAY (Cyanocorax violaceus) – Flocks were a daily occurrence at Hato La Aurora, where we had nice views several times.
Hirundinidae (Swallows)
BLUE-AND-WHITE SWALLOW (Pygochelidon cyanoleuca) – Just a few--on the west slope of the E Cordillera.
BROWN-BELLIED SWALLOW (Orochelidon murina) – The primary swallow of the Bogota area; we saw it daily at upper elevations, but in small numbers.
SOUTHERN ROUGH-WINGED SWALLOW (Stelgidopteryx ruficollis) – Two at Laguna de Tabacal.
GRAY-BREASTED MARTIN (Progne chalybea) – Seen twice at Hato La Aurora.
BROWN-CHESTED MARTIN (Progne tapera) – One at Parque La Florida was on the move from somewhere lower down.

White-winged Swallows were tame along the Rio Ariporo. (Photo by guide Richard Webster)

WHITE-WINGED SWALLOW (Tachycineta albiventer) – Common at Hato La Aurora; we had many close and lovely views, even as they perched on our boat.
BANK SWALLOW (Riparia riparia) – Five were at Parque La Florida on 1 Nov. [b]
BARN SWALLOW (Hirundo rustica) – Daily in the llanos, but never more than a handful. [b]
CLIFF SWALLOW (Petrochelidon pyrrhonota) – One at Parque La Florida, presumably still headed south toward Argentina. [b]
Troglodytidae (Wrens)
HOUSE WREN (SOUTHERN) (Troglodytes aedon musculus) – Widespread, recorded nearly daily, from the llanos up to 3200m.
MOUNTAIN WREN (Troglodytes solstitialis) – This arboreal little wren (a Winter Wren look alike) was seen twice with flocks at Chicaque.
SEDGE WREN (PARAMO) (Cistothorus platensis aequatorialis) – We had nice looks and listens in the paramo of PN Chingaza. A recent article (Wilson Journal Ornithology 126: 649-662, Robbins and Nyari) proposed a nine-way split of Sedge Wren. If followed, for the moment what we saw was Paramo Wren, C. aequatorialis; however, they lacked genetic material from Santa Marta and the S de Perija, so did not split tamae (what we saw in the E Andes on this trip) from aequatorialis, which they were otherwise inclined to do. The SACC has not acted on this yet, and . . ., stay tuned, while keeping track of your Sedge/Grass Wrens. (alticola, used on our checklist, appears to apply only to Venezuelan populations)
APOLINAR'S WREN (Cistothorus apolinari) – This offshoot of the Sedge Wren complex is a valid species per the same genetic study (there hadn't been much doubt); it occurs in plateau marshes (the nominate, what we saw) and as another subspecies on a nearby paramo. Our views of this declining species were at Parque La Florida. It is considered "Endangered," with a population under 1,700. [E]

Tourmaline Sunangel was common on this visit to Chicaque. (Photo by guide Richard Webster)

BAND-BACKED WREN (Campylorhynchus zonatus) [*]
BICOLORED WREN (Campylorhynchus griseus) – Common in the llanos, and conspicuous at times, including on the awning of the Yopal airport entry.
BLACK-BELLIED WREN (Pheugopedius fasciatoventris) – This lowland species has recently appeared at Laguna de Tabacal; it can be a skulker, so we were pleased to have them moving around in rather open Giant Bamboo, a habit we think should be adopted by all wrens.
WHISKERED WREN (Pheugopedius mystacalis) – As opposed to the Black-bellied, we encountered the real Whiskered Wrens at Chicaque, and did not see a feather in the Chusquea Bamboo and adjacent forest. [*]
SPECKLE-BREASTED WREN (COLOMBIAN) (Pheugopedius sclateri columbianus) – Our first views were bad, but another pair did better, although still skulking through canopy tangles at Laguna de Tabacal. Disjunct from two subspecies centered on N Peru/Tumbesia, this taxon is split by many.
RUFOUS-AND-WHITE WREN (Thryophilus rufalbus) – A pair in gallery forest at Hato La Aurora were another study in wren sneakiness, but were eventually seen. This should be T. r. minlosi.
BUFF-BREASTED WREN (Cantorchilus leucotis) – Heard daily at Hato La Aurora, and seen when we worked at it.
RUFOUS WREN (Cinnycerthia unirufa) – Everyone much enjoyed a responsive group of this wren at PN Chingaza.
SHARPE'S WREN (Cinnycerthia olivascens) – Typically at lower elevation than the preceding, which was true for us, with Sharpe's (one of the three splits of Sepia-brown) seen at Chicaque.
GRAY-BREASTED WOOD-WREN (Henicorhina leucophrys) – Common by voice at Chicaque and Pedro Paulo, and somehow we never stumbled into one, or worked on seeing one. [*]
Donacobiidae (Donacobius)

Black-capped Donacobius is a relative of the Old World "babblers." We had great views of one vocalizing, throat pouches extended, en route to Hato La Aurora. (Photo by guide Richard Webster)

BLACK-CAPPED DONACOBIUS (Donacobius atricapilla) – A fabulous bird in several ways, first in looks and voice, as we observed at close range en route to Hato La Aurora. Also in its amazing biogeographic history--now placed in a monotypic family, Donacobiidae, which is most closely related to Old World lineages in the Sylvioidea.
Turdidae (Thrushes and Allies)
ANDEAN SOLITAIRE (Myadestes ralloides) [*]
GRAY-CHEEKED THRUSH (Catharus minimus) – Two at Laguna de Tabacal were a bit of a surprise, and certainly fun. They could have been fall migrants still on the move, or rare winterers (most winter in Amazonia, as best known, but a few do winter west of the Andes in Colombia). In any event, good looks! [b]
SWAINSON'S THRUSH (Catharus ustulatus) – Locally common around Bogota, mostly at middle elevations, but also up to 3200m (high for winter; a late migrant?). [b]
PALE-BREASTED THRUSH (Turdus leucomelas) – Heard in the llanos, and finally seen (not that we were trying hard) at Laguna de Tabacal.
SPECTACLED THRUSH (Turdus nudigenis) – A good find at Hato La Aurora, where two were seen in gallery forest.
BLACK-BILLED THRUSH (Turdus ignobilis) – Widespread: We saw them both in the llanos and on the middle Andean slopes (Pedro Paulo, Laguna de Tabacal).

Our rooms at Hato La Aurora were in this comfortable building; the sleeping temperature was wonderful, and the night sounds (and day sounds) were great. (Photo by guide Richard Webster)

GREAT THRUSH (Turdus fuscater) – Common in and around Bogota, where we saw up to a couple dozen in a day.
Mimidae (Mockingbirds and Thrashers)
TROPICAL MOCKINGBIRD (Mimus gilvus) – Common in the llanos, with a few more in disturbed areas on the Andean slopes, e.g., the garden at Jardin Encantado.
Motacillidae (Wagtails and Pipits)
YELLOWISH PIPIT (Anthus lutescens) – Two in a pasture at Hato La Aurora were a nice find, with good views from the vehicles. A. l. lutescens.
Parulidae (New World Warblers)
NORTHERN WATERTHRUSH (Parkesia noveboracensis) – One wintering bird was along the shore of Laguna de Tabacal. [b]
BLACK-AND-WHITE WARBLER (Mniotilta varia) – At least six seen over three days on the middle slopes of the Andes. [b]
TENNESSEE WARBLER (Oreothlypis peregrina) – One at Hato La Aurora on 4 November may have been a local rarity; one for some at Pedro Paulo was in a more typical location. [b]
AMERICAN REDSTART (Setophaga ruticilla) – Four were seen at Laguna de Tabacal; three of these wintering birds were adult males. [b]

Cerulean Warbler winters in the Andes, and we managed to find two, including this one (a young female?) at Laguna de Tabacal. (Photo by guide Richard Webster)

CERULEAN WARBLER (Setophaga cerulea) – One was at Pedro Paulo on 8 November and another at Laguna de Tabacal on 9 November; wintering individuals of this declining species are always a treat. It is considered "Vulnerable." [b]
TROPICAL PARULA (Setophaga pitiayumi) – One or two were at Pedro Paulo.
BAY-BREASTED WARBLER (Setophaga castanea) – One at Laguna de Tabacal on 9 November; this species winters primarily at low elevations, such as the Magdalena Valley. [b]
BLACKBURNIAN WARBLER (Setophaga fusca) – The most common of the wintering warblers, with over a dozen on several days around Bogota. [b]
YELLOW WARBLER (Setophaga petechia) – One at the Yopal airport for some and one at Laguna de Tabacal; wintering habitat is typically in open areas at lower elevations. [b]
BLACKPOLL WARBLER (Setophaga striata) – One at Hato La Aurora on 3 November was probably still on the move toward Amazonian wintering areas. [b]

Gray-throated Warbler looks like a large Oporornis; we saw this scarce species singing at Laguna de Tabacal. (Photo by guide Richard Webster)

RUFOUS-CAPPED WARBLER (CHESTNUT-CAPPED) (Basileuterus rufifrons mesochrysus) – Several pairs were seen at Laguna de Tabacal; a lovely and striking bird.
THREE-STRIPED WARBLER (Basileuterus tristriatus) – Most of us saw two with a mixed flock at Chicaque, just before lunch.
CITRINE WARBLER (Myiothlypis luteoviridis) – One or two were with a mixed flock near the top of Chicaque; brief views.
BLACK-CRESTED WARBLER (Myiothlypis nigrocristata) – Fairly common at Chicaque, with a couple more seen below PN Chingaza.
GRAY-THROATED WARBLER (Myiothlypis cinereicollis) – A regional specialty (a limited range in Venezuela and Colombia) and often a skulker, but at Laguna de Tabacal we were fortunate to see and hear a pair at close range. It is considered "Near Threatened."
RUSSET-CROWNED WARBLER (Myiothlypis coronata) – Also at Chicaque; good views several times with flocks as we worked our way down the steep track.
CANADA WARBLER (Cardellina canadensis) – The second most common wintering warbler, often in the same flocks as Blackburnian, although averaging a little lower in elevation overall. [b]
SLATE-THROATED REDSTART (Myioborus miniatus) – Fairly common at middle elevations, below the altitude of the next.

Golden-fronted Redstart is close to being a Colombian endemic, and this lovely species became one of Caroline's favorites. (Photo by guide Richard Webster)

GOLDEN-FRONTED REDSTART (Myioborus ornatus) – This is not an endemic, but for practical purposes Colombia is the place. We had nice views at PN Chingaza, where it became a favorite of Caroline. We saw the nominate subspecies with its white cheek.
Thraupidae (Tanagers and Allies)
MASKED CARDINAL (Paroaria nigrogenis) – This may come as a bit of a surprise, but the Cardinals of the llanos have been split as Masked Cardinal; we treated them as Red-capped, of which they were a subspecies until recently, on the checklist. The full rationale has not been checked, but genetically they are apparently not the closest relatives. In any event, they were lovely, and easily observed around the Hato La Aurora dining area.
BLACK-FACED TANAGER (Schistochlamys melanopis) – This widespread, local tanager of open, grassy areas was seen twice at Hato La Aurora.
HOODED TANAGER (Nemosia pileata) – Small numbers were coming into a fruiting tree near our lodge at Hato La Aurora.
BLACK-CAPPED HEMISPINGUS (Hemispingus atropileus) – One of four hemispingus at Chicaque; this species was seen with several mixed flocks on our descent.

Masked Cardinals were coming for food outside the dining area at Hato La Aurora. (Photo by guide Richard Webster)

SUPERCILIARIED HEMISPINGUS (Hemispingus superciliaris) – This warbler-like tanager was was seen with several mixed flocks at Chicaque, usually in the sub-canopy.
OLEAGINOUS HEMISPINGUS (Hemispingus frontalis) – One pair was low in bamboo with a mixed flock at Chicaque.
BLACK-EARED HEMISPINGUS (Hemispingus melanotis) – As with several other hemispinguses, Black-eared is partial to bamboo. We saw several pairs or family groups with mixed flocks at Hemispingus Central, a.k.a. Chicaque. (But yes we missed Black-headed Hemispingus, for which we had a chance twice at higher elevations).
WHITE-SHOULDERED TANAGER (Tachyphonus luctuosus) – Two were seen at Pedro Paulo, probably having colonized secondary growth from lower down.
SILVER-BEAKED TANAGER (Ramphocelus carbo) – Common in the llanos.
CRIMSON-BACKED TANAGER (Ramphocelus dimidiatus) – In small numbers in disturbed areas on the lower slopes, e.g., Pedro Paulo, the restaurant fruit tray, and Laguna de Tabacal.

Black-chested Mountain-Tanager is a scarce bird of upper montane forest, and we were excited to find it at PN Chingaza. (Photo by guide Richard Webster)

BLACK-CHESTED MOUNTAIN-TANAGER (Cnemathraupis eximia) – One at PN Chingaza was a prize; this uncommon mountain-tanager can be found on few tour routes, and is reliable on even fewer.
GRASS-GREEN TANAGER (Chlorornis riefferii) – A brief encounter at Chicaque for perhaps half of the group; widespread, but one always wants to enjoy this great bird.
SCARLET-BELLIED MOUNTAIN-TANAGER (Anisognathus igniventris) – We saw three our first morning at Guadalupe, then had several dozen, including some large flocks, at PN Chingaza.
FAWN-BREASTED TANAGER (Pipraeidea melanonota) – Several were seen around our breakfast spot at Pedro Paulo.
BLUE-GRAY TANAGER (Thraupis episcopus) – Common in the llanos, and numerous on the middle slopes of the Andes, having colonized disturbed areas. Birds at Hato La Aurora did not have white shoulders, and may be T. e. cana, which fits with the Venezuelan llanos (i.e., they were not of an Amazonian white-shouldered subspecies like mediana). Thraupis is genetically in the middle of Tangara, which is causing some head scratching about what to do.

Yes, we had to hang on, but the luxury of a ride back up the steep hill was much appreciated. (Photo by tour manager Caroline Lewis)

PALM TANAGER (Thraupis palmarum) – Ditto, and even more common at Pedro Paulo.
BLUE-CAPPED TANAGER (Thraupis cyanocephala) – Common at Chicaque, with several more at Pedro Paulo. Genetic studies show that this species is not a Thraupis, but is a member of a group of mountain-tanagers; expect the monotypic genus Sporathraupis to be resurrected.
BLACK-CAPPED TANAGER (Tangara heinei) – Seen in medium numbers at Chicaque and Pedro Paulo.
BURNISHED-BUFF TANAGER (Tangara cayana) – One immature was seen in woodland at Hato La Aurora.
SCRUB TANAGER (Tangara vitriolina) – A couple in the lower clearing at Chicaque were followed by dozens at Pedro Paulo and a few at Laguna de Tabacal.
BLUE-NECKED TANAGER (Tangara cyanicollis) – Common at Pedro Paulo and Laguna de Tabacal. Frequent practice is to throw the Thesaurus at the tanagers, because it become repetitive to say beautiful, gorgeous, stunning, striking, and so forth. Consider the Thesaurus thrown: The Andes are the center of tanager diversity, and we saw many wonderful species.
BERYL-SPANGLED TANAGER (Tangara nigroviridis) – Fairly common at Chicaque, with a few more at Pedro Paulo.
METALLIC-GREEN TANAGER (Tangara labradorides) – Three or four were seen at Chicaque, our best views coming around the clearing after lunch.
PLAIN-COLORED TANAGER (Tangara inornata) – This lower elevation species was found at Pedro Paulo, presumably an upslope colonist of secondary growth.
BAY-HEADED TANAGER (BAY-AND-BLUE) (Tangara gyrola deleticia) – Common at Pedro Paulo, with a few the next day.
FLAME-FACED TANAGER (Tangara parzudakii) – One at Chicaque was seen by most folks; locally common, but not in this region.
GOLDEN TANAGER (Tangara arthus) – One or two were with the after-lunch-clearing flock at Chicaque.

Turquoise Dacnis is a tough bird on all of our Colombia tours, so we were very happy to see this species so well. This photograph shows the larger bill (larger than other dacnises) of this species. (Photo by guide Richard Webster)

TURQUOISE DACNIS (Dacnis hartlaubi) – A fine show at Pedro Paulo, where we hope for, but do not count on, this scarce endemic. A quick male, a more cooperative female, then a cooperative male were more than we expected. Formerly placed in a separate genus because of a thicker bill, genetically it is a Dacnis. It is considered "Vulnerable," with a population under 10,000. [E]
CHESTNUT-VENTED CONEBILL (Conirostrum speciosum) – A briefly seen female at Hato La Aurora was marginal at best.
BLUE-BACKED CONEBILL (Conirostrum sitticolor) – Several got away, but then we had good looks with the Black-chested Mountain-Tanager flock at PN Chingaza.
CAPPED CONEBILL (Conirostrum albifrons) – Peter saw a male with a distant mixed flock at Chicaque (a white-capped nominate bird).
RUFOUS-BROWED CONEBILL (Conirostrum rufum) – Another endemic to the biogeographic unit of the Eastern Cordillera, but not a political endemic. After a painfully brief encounter our first morning, we had repeated good views at PN Chingaza.
GLOSSY FLOWERPIERCER (Diglossa lafresnayii) – Good views of multiples at PN Chingaza.
BLACK FLOWERPIERCER (Diglossa humeralis humeralis) – Seen around Bogota and at Chicaque; in general, at lower elevations than Glossy (and smaller and less glossy, but both have a blue shoulder in this area).

Ruby-topaz Hummingbird is not to be expected at Jardin Encantado, but one had been showing up, and visited several times while we were there, becoming a favorite of the group. (Photo by guide Richard Webster)

WHITE-SIDED FLOWERPIERCER (Diglossa albilatera) – Just a few: Chicaque and Pedro Paulo.
RUSTY FLOWERPIERCER (Diglossa sittoides) – Singles at Parque La Florida and below Pedro Paulo.
BLUISH FLOWERPIERCER (Diglossa caerulescens) – A couple at Guadalupe were followed by four at Chicaque.
MASKED FLOWERPIERCER (Diglossa cyanea) – Fairly common, seen on three days around Bogota.
PLUSHCAP (Catamblyrhynchus diadema) – A special bird (though less special since it is no longer a monotypic family!). We saw two in bamboo (its preferred habitat) at Chicaque; good looks.
PLUMBEOUS SIERRA-FINCH (Phrygilus unicolor) – A few were seen in the upper paramo at PN Chingaza, e.g., at lunch.
ORANGE-FRONTED YELLOW-FINCH (Sicalis columbiana) – A range map will show several large splotches, but it is not on many tour routes (Manaus is another one, where some of you had seen it). We had several small groups at Hato La Aurora.
SAFFRON FINCH (Sicalis flaveola) – Common in the llanos, with more in the pseudo-llanos of Andean pastures at middle elevations.
RUDDY-BREASTED SEEDEATER (Sporophila minuta) – Small numbers at Hato La Aurora with one more at Laguna de Tabacal.

Occasionally we did find hummingbirds 'earning an honest living,' such as this Booted Racket-tail, seen shortly after we saw Black Inca also feeding in the wild. (Photo by guide Richard Webster)

THICK-BILLED SEED-FINCH (Sporophila funerea) – We had nice views of a couple of females at Pedro Paulo. A split of Lesser Seed-Finch.
GRAY SEEDEATER (Sporophila intermedia) – Seen by most on one occasion at Hato La Aurora (nominate). A different population (bogotensis) was seen at Laguna de Tabacal, Trevor providing the ID versus Slate-colored (a nomadic bamboo bird, usually).
YELLOW-BELLIED SEEDEATER (Sporophila nigricollis) – Fairly common at Pedro Paulo and Laguna de Tabacal.
BAND-TAILED SEEDEATER (Catamenia analis) – One seen briefly near Bogota was it.
BANANAQUIT (Coereba flaveola) – We saw plenty, probably most memorably slurping away at hummingbird feeders, first before lunch at the Central Ranch House (La Aurora) in the llanos, then at Jardin Encantado.
ROSY THRUSH-TANAGER (Rhodinocichla rosea) – OK, these things are not an Australian scrub-bird, but they are bad. Heard-only is the norm, and our trip was very much the norm (Pedro Paulo, Laguna de Tabacal). [*]

Three gear-laden guides on the savannah at Hato La Aurora. (Photo by tour manager Caroline Lewis)

BLACK-WINGED SALTATOR (Saltator atripennis) – One of the more attractive saltators, we were pleased to find a singing bird at Laguna de Tabacal (fairly common in the Colombian Andes, but not expected on this tour).
GRAYISH SALTATOR (Saltator coerulescens) – Daily at Hato La Aurora and other llano areas en route.
STREAKED SALTATOR (Saltator striatipectus) – Fairly common at Laguna de Tabacal; a bird of the Magdalena Valley, occurring upslope in areas like this. This is the nominate taxon.
Emberizidae (Buntings and New World Sparrows)
ASHY-THROATED CHLOROSPINGUS (Chlorospingus canigularis) – Common at Chicaque. f.k.a. Ashy-throated Bush-Tanager (now genetically known not to be tanagers, but "sparrows").
YELLOW-BROWED SPARROW (Ammodramus aurifrons) – Daily at Hato La Aurora, heard and/or seen, but in small numbers, Peter's lifer coming in the spotlight at dusk during a nighthawk search.
BLACK-STRIPED SPARROW (Arremonops conirostris) – Singing strongly at Laguna de Tabacal, and quickly seen well.
GRAY-BROWED BRUSHFINCH (Arremon assimilis assimilis) [*]
RUFOUS-COLLARED SPARROW (Zonotrichia capensis) – Common in disturbed areas of the Andean highlands.
MOUSTACHED BRUSHFINCH (Atlapetes albofrenatus) – Seen several times at Chicaque and once at Pedro Paulo; good views of a bird with a limited range in Colombia and Venezuela.
SLATY BRUSHFINCH (Atlapetes schistaceus) – A pair our first morning at Guadalupe, another at PN Chingaza; gray, black, and white can be attractive, especially with a rusty crown.
PALE-NAPED BRUSHFINCH (Atlapetes pallidinucha) – Another attractive brush-finch (OK, most are), seen at three spots: Guadalupe, Chicaque, and PN Chingaza.
Cardinalidae (Cardinals and Allies)
SUMMER TANAGER (Piranga rubra) – At least six winterers were seen at Chicaque, Pedro Paulo, and Laguna de Tabacal. [b]

Scarlet Tanagers were still on the move, southbound to the edges of Amazonia; this migrant (a first year male) was 3200m above Bogota. (Photo by guide Richard Webster)

SCARLET TANAGER (Piranga olivacea) – A couple our first day in Bogota were followed by about 15 at Pedro Paulo on 8 November; most or all are still working their way south to preferred wintering grounds in Amazonia and adjacent foothills. [b]
ROSE-BREASTED GROSBEAK (Pheucticus ludovicianus) – One just after breakfast at Laguna de Tabacal. [b]
Icteridae (Troupials and Allies)
EASTERN MEADOWLARK (Sturnella magna) – Found in two areas, first the llanos, where fairly common and singing strongly (singing in quite familiar fashion) (S. m. praticola), and second, the Eastern Andes around Bogota (just a few, S. m. meridionalis).
RED-BREASTED MEADOWLARK (Sturnella militaris) – Small numbers were seen in the llanos, with good views at Hato La Aurora.

This Black-bellied Whistling-Duck brood was at Hato La Aurora. (Photo by guide Richard Webster)

CARIB GRACKLE (Quiscalus lugubris) – Common in the llanos, where native; the species has expanded greatly, now including Bogota!
ORIOLE BLACKBIRD (Gymnomystax mexicanus) – Spectacular! Throw the Thesaurus at it! We enjoyed daily views at Hato La Aurora.
YELLOW-HOODED BLACKBIRD (Chrysomus icterocephalus) – Just our first morning in the marshes of Parque La Florida.
SHINY COWBIRD (Molothrus bonariensis) – Another expanding bird around Bogota (sigh, because it is tough on many birds, including Apolinar's Wren); just a few en route to the llanos and a few at Laguna de Tabacal.
GIANT COWBIRD (Molothrus oryzivorus) – Small numbers were seen in flight at Hato La Aurora.
YELLOW-BACKED ORIOLE (Icterus chrysater) – The sweet song at Parque La Florida led us to seeing the bird, and we heard more at Pedro Paulo and Laguna de Tabacal.

One of the many impressive iguanas seen along the Rio Ariporo at Hato La Aurora. (Photo by guide Richard Webster)

YELLOW ORIOLE (Icterus nigrogularis) – This was our daily oriole in the llanos, looking like a smaller Yellow-backed, plus some white edging in the wing.
YELLOW-BILLED CACIQUE (Amblycercus holosericeus) – Quick views of one moving through bamboo with a mixed flock at Chicaque.
YELLOW-RUMPED CACIQUE (Cacicus cela) – Fairly common in the llanos.
CRESTED OROPENDOLA (Psarocolius decumanus) – Scarce at Hato La Aurora, seen daily, but just single-digit totals.
Fringillidae (Finches, Euphonias, and Allies)
PURPLE-THROATED EUPHONIA (Euphonia chlorotica) – Daily in small numbers at Hato La Aurora, frequently heard and periodically seen around the lodge.
VELVET-FRONTED EUPHONIA (Euphonia concinna) – A bonus, a male located by call, feeding in (no surprise) mistletoe in a disturbed area below Pedro Paulo. This bird of the Magdalena Valley was an upslope wanderer at 1900m, although many such species have progressively colonized disturbed areas on the Andean slopes. [E]

Red Howler Monkeys could be heard from our rooms, and were seen several times in our journeys around Hato La Aurora. (Photo by guide Richard Webster)

THICK-BILLED EUPHONIA (Euphonia laniirostris) – The most common euphonia at Hato La Aurora, also fairly common at middle elevations on the west Andean slope.
BLUE-NAPED CHLOROPHONIA (Chlorophonia cyanea) – We saw two at Pedro Paulo.
LESSER GOLDFINCH (Spinus psaltria) – Three were seen quickly at Parque La Florida, and a half dozen were at Laguna de Tabacal.
ANDEAN SISKIN (Spinus spinescens) – Several sightings: Parque La Florida, Guadalupe, and PN Chingaza.

COMMON OPOSSUM (Didelphis marsupialis) – Seen one evening by the dining area at Hato La Aurora, visiting bananas put out for food.
RED HOWLER MONKEY (Alouatta seniculus) – Seen several times at Hato La Aurora, and audible daily!
RED-TAILED SQUIRREL (Sciurus granatensis) – Based on Thorington, Jr., et al.'s Squirrels of the World, a compelling read if ever there was one (but a semi-solid reference in the very mushy world of squirrel ID), almost everything we saw was a Red-tailed Squirrel, perhaps S. g. griseimembra, out of 32!! subspecies described. The species even includes entirely "agouti brown" populations, and certainly many with tails mixed dark, brown, and rusty. Andean Squirrel is described and illustrated as entirely dark, the tail only with black, gray, and whitish tones.
AMAZON DWARF SQUIRREL (Microsciurus flaviventer) – Squirrels of the World has a subspecies of this taxon occurring in the Andes of Colombia. M. f. otinus. It is not very satisfactory, but alternatives, including Santander Dwarf Squirrel and Central American Dwarf Squirrel (W Andes only) seem even less satisfactory. This was seen once at Chicaque by part of the group.
GUINEA PIG (Cavia aperea) – Guinea Pigs were on display at Parque La Florida's marshes, even if they did not look like pet Guinea Pigs to us. Eisenberg's Mammals of the Neotropics vol. 1 suggests that the various isolated populations in northern S America may reflect human actions over the millenia.

Can one have too many photographs of Capybara? Possibly, but "several" is certainly OK. (Photo by guide Richard Webster)

CAPYBARA (Hydrochaeris hydrochaeris) – Common at Hato La Aurora, with a few more en route. This biggest of rodents certainly captured our attention, whatever you thought of them, and were a signature part of our visit to the llanos. That is a a lot of biomass.
CRAB-EATING FOX (Cerdocyon thous) – We had quick views of one returning to the lodge one evening, and another was seen two days later.
WHITE-TAILED DEER (Odocoileus virginianus) – Objectively, they are uncommon at Hato La Aurora, but in terms of South America as a whole, they were fairly common in this well conserved place.


Other critters:

Black Caiman: Several on the Rio Ariporo, further evidence of good conservation practices at Hato La Aurora.

Spectacled Caiman: The smaller, more common species at Hato La Aurora.

Green Iguana: Some fine specimens from the boat.

Turtles: common in the llanos, with more/others at Laguna de Tabacal.

Tegu (perhaps Gold Tegu, Tupinambis teguixin, but Tegu taxonomy is only a little better than squirrel taxonomy): the "monitor lizard" at Hato La Aurora (now an invasive threat in Florida).

Caterpillars: That curious mass of them on the trunk at Hato La Aurora.

Totals for the tour: 410 bird taxa and 8 mammal taxa