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Field Guides Tour Report
Colombia: Bogota, the Magdalena Valley, and Santa Marta 2020
Jan 11, 2020 to Jan 26, 2020
Mitch Lysinger


One of the highlights of the tour was observing a flock of endangered Santa Marta Parakeets on San Lorenzo ridge. Participant Steve Parrish captured one in an interesting pose as it leaned over to munch on some flower-heads.

Well, we were certainly ready to bird Colombia, but was Colombia ready for us?! Our power team of birders really scoured the Magdalena Valley, leaving few stones unturned, and thus nailing a high percentage of our bird targets. Ok, ok, this was my best attempt at a "tough guy", kick-the-door-down intro. Joking aside, we really did a fine job of birding and seeing what we were after, and then some, while enjoying beautiful Colombia, and all of its charms.

Our route traversed a diversity of habitats, from paramos and high elevation lakes, to humid Andean subtropical and foothill forests and lower-elevation scrub habitats, as well as the drier forests of the northern coast, finishing up on the slopes of the magnificent Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta, Colombia's highest peak. Colombia is a big place, so we had to undertake our fair share of driving to get from one birding site to another, but hey, this is the name of the game here. One thing is certainly for sure though: any driving was (without doubt) more than made up for with the great birds waiting for us at each spot that we birded along the way. There were indeed many captivating places on this tour, and the Andes and its valleys always make for some fabulous scenery, but I continue to be blown away by the magic of the Santa Marta Mountains; this is really a dreamy area, especially with that spectacular view from our lodge at El Dorado, that overlooks the Caribbean coast. As a special note, I don't know what they put in the sugar water in this country, but I have never seen feeders as active and jam-packed with hummers as these; maybe too much for some to process, but a candy store for others! I also have to mention that just like in my country of residence, Ecuador, Colombia is equally full of friendly and fun-loving folks, so this really helped make our visit bubbly and fun. I'm ready to go back!

Ok, now straight to the birds. The bird highlights just kept coming. I know that all of you had your favorites, but here is the shortest list that I could hold myself to compiling to at least somewhat represent what I thought really stood out and helped make our trip one to remember: those roadside Northern Screamers; scoped Chestnut-winged Chachalaca as the sun went down; Band-tailed Guans dripping from the trees at El Dorado; a sneaky Tolima Dove for quick views; fabulous Dwarf Cuckoo from all angles; Oilbirds at dusk that left us spellbound; some amazing hummingbirds, but the ones that come to mind include Ruby-Topaz Hummingbird, Black Inca, Santa Marta Woodstar, and Sapphire-bellied and Sapphire-throated Hummingbirds; Bogota Rail prancing about; Fasciated Tiger-Heron along a beautiful stream; Solitary Eagle soaring over us in the Santa Martas; Tropical Screech-Owl and Mottled Owl, back-to-back one evening; several active male White-tipped Quetzals; scoped Andean Motmot at dawn; Moustached Puffbird a few times; White-mantled Barbets at a nest hole; some great toucans, like those nesting Crimson-rumped Toucanets; the scarce Beautiful Woodpecker at close range; superb scope studies of a Saffron-headed Parrot perched up one morning in nice light; Santa Marta Parakeets that could not have been seen any better as they called and fed about; some very special antbirds, but how can you beat Recurve-billed Bushbird and Magdalena Antbird (?); Santa Marta Antpittas out in the open; that last minute Rusty-breasted Antpitta; some interesting, and very range-restricted tapaculos; that pair of Brown-billed Scythebills; those maddening Santa Marta Foliage-gleaners that finally gave it up; some nice looks at the endemic spinetails; excellent looks at the easily overlooked Double-banded Graytail; immature and female-plumaged manakins, but hey, we saw a bunch; those colorful Golden-breasted Fruiteaters; the easily missed Antioquia Bristle-Tyrant; Spectacled Tyrannulet during our last birding hours of the trip; that cooperative pair of the endemic, Apical Flycatcher; some fabulous wrens, many endemic, including Niceforo's and Hermit Wood-Wren; that lovely male Velvet-fronted Euphonia; Rosy Thrush-Tanager singing its heart out; Tocuyo Sparrows a couple of times in the dry Guajira; brushfinches around every corner, and some endemic and beautiful ones, like Sierra Nevada, Santa Marta, Yellow-headed; all of those migrants that were such a joy to see on their wintering grounds; that group of hyper Sooty Ant-Tanagers; Vermilion Cardinals at feeders (!); Black-cheeked Mountain-Tanager in the temperate forests of the scenic San Lorenzo ridge; that stunning and local Turquoise Dacnis; and that spiffy Orinocan Saltator perched up in the Guajira.

What really made this trip a thrill for me to lead was the wonderful group that we had... just like birding with family; now that's birding! So thank you guys for this experience, because you really made it an unforgettable one. So go ahead and have a read through the list that follows and relive some memories... because there are plenty! Also make sure to get out there and enjoy our planet and the wonderful birds it is home to... no better way to live life!

Be safe, and hope to see you soon.

Mitch


KEYS FOR THIS LIST
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



This female Recurve-billed Bushbird was one of several that we found in the Ocana area; this was another of the major highlights of the tour! Photo by participant Steve Parrish.

BIRDS
Tinamidae (Tinamous)
HIGHLAND TINAMOU (Nothocercus bonapartei) [*]
GRAY TINAMOU (Tinamus tao) [*]
LITTLE TINAMOU (Crypturellus soui) [*]
Anhimidae (Screamers)
NORTHERN SCREAMER (Chauna chavaria) – Seen well through the scope during a stop for them as they lounged lakeside off the roadside.
Anatidae (Ducks, Geese, and Waterfowl)
BLACK-BELLIED WHISTLING-DUCK (Dendrocygna autumnalis)
FULVOUS WHISTLING-DUCK (Dendrocygna bicolor)
BLUE-WINGED TEAL (Spatula discors) [b]
LESSER SCAUP (Aythya affinis) – A lone bird at La Florida as it fed out on the lake. [b]
ANDEAN DUCK (ANDINA) (Oxyura ferruginea andina)
Cracidae (Guans, Chachalacas, and Curassows)
CHESTNUT-WINGED CHACHALACA (Ortalis garrula) – This one had us scrambling a bit, but we finally tracked one down as it perched up for scope studies in a tall Balsa tree along the northern coast. [E]
COLOMBIAN CHACHALACA (Ortalis columbiana) – This one had us scrambling a bit, but we finally tracked one down as it perched up for scope studies in a tall Balsa tree along the northern coast. [E]
BAND-TAILED GUAN (Penelope argyrotis) – Common yardbirds at El Dorado!
SICKLE-WINGED GUAN (Chamaepetes goudotii) – Seen well around the lodge at El Dorado, especially during their feeding bout at the compost!
Odontophoridae (New World Quail)
BLACK-FRONTED WOOD-QUAIL (Odontophorus atrifrons) [*]
Phoenicopteridae (Flamingos)
AMERICAN FLAMINGO (Phoenicopterus ruber) – I think I might have been the only one to see this one very distantly at Los Camarones before it disappeared.
Podicipedidae (Grebes)
PIED-BILLED GREBE (Podilymbus podiceps)
Columbidae (Pigeons and Doves)
ROCK PIGEON (Columba livia) [I]
PALE-VENTED PIGEON (Patagioenas cayennensis)
SCALED PIGEON (Patagioenas speciosa) – A few scoped birds along the northern coast.
BARE-EYED PIGEON (Patagioenas corensis) – One scoped bird for very nice views at Los Camarones, as well as a few birds flying by.
BAND-TAILED PIGEON (WHITE-NECKED) (Patagioenas fasciata albilinea)
PLUMBEOUS PIGEON (Patagioenas plumbea chapmani)


We were able to see both Green-tailed and Black-tailed Trainbearers at Observatorio de Colibries. Participant Benedict de Laender got this photo of one of the Black-tailed Trainbearers resting.

RUDDY PIGEON (Patagioenas subvinacea) [*]
COMMON GROUND DOVE (Columbina passerina)
RUDDY GROUND DOVE (Columbina talpacoti)
SCALED DOVE (Columbina squammata)
WHITE-TIPPED DOVE (Leptotila verreauxi)
TOLIMA DOVE (Leptotila conoveri) – This one is always tricky as it is shy and forest-based. We had them calling close, and even managed some quick views before it went slinking away into some awful tangles. [E]
LINED QUAIL-DOVE (Zentrygon linearis) – Benedict stayed back at the feeders at the Cerulean Warbler Reserve (CWR) and had nice looks; the rest of us heard them calling from the understory.
EARED DOVE (Zenaida auriculata)
Cuculidae (Cuckoos)
GREATER ANI (Crotophaga major)
SMOOTH-BILLED ANI (Crotophaga ani)
GROOVE-BILLED ANI (Crotophaga sulcirostris)
STRIPED CUCKOO (Tapera naevia) [*]
LITTLE CUCKOO (Coccycua minuta) – One flew by at El Hato.
DWARF CUCKOO (Coccycua pumila) – Fabulous views of this range-restricted species along the northern coast... wow!
SQUIRREL CUCKOO (Piaya cayana)
Caprimulgidae (Nightjars and Allies)
BAND-WINGED NIGHTJAR (Systellura longirostris) – A male flew right over us near the San Lorenzo Ridge at dawn.
COMMON PAURAQUE (Nyctidromus albicollis) [*]
Steatornithidae (Oilbird)
OILBIRD (Steatornis caripensis) – One of the most spectacular shows that I have ever seen in all of my days birding the neotropics. How can you beat thousands of Oilbirds emerging from a cave at dusk - in a gorgeous setting - as they swirled around us at close range... simply unforgettable!
Apodidae (Swifts)
CHESTNUT-COLLARED SWIFT (Streptoprocne rutila)
WHITE-COLLARED SWIFT (Streptoprocne zonaris)
SHORT-TAILED SWIFT (Chaetura brachyura)
GRAY-RUMPED SWIFT (Chaetura cinereiventris)


This gorgeous Blue-naped Chlorophonia was at the El Dorado's feeders, where participant Jean Perata took this lovely shot.

WHITE-TIPPED SWIFT (Aeronautes montivagus)
LESSER SWALLOW-TAILED SWIFT (Panyptila cayennensis)
Trochilidae (Hummingbirds)
WHITE-NECKED JACOBIN (Florisuga mellivora)
WHITE-TIPPED SICKLEBILL (Eutoxeres aquila) [*]
RUFOUS-BREASTED HERMIT (Glaucis hirsutus)
BAND-TAILED BARBTHROAT (Threnetes ruckeri) – Nice looks at one at Rio Claro.
GREEN HERMIT (Phaethornis guy) – Common in the humid foothill forests.
LONG-BILLED HERMIT (Phaethornis longirostris) – Lekking at Rio Claro.
PALE-BELLIED HERMIT (Phaethornis anthophilus) – Steve had one.
STRIPE-THROATED HERMIT (Phaethornis striigularis)
SOOTY-CAPPED HERMIT (Phaethornis augusti) [*]
BROWN VIOLETEAR (Colibri delphinae)
LESSER VIOLETEAR (Colibri cyanotus)
SPARKLING VIOLETEAR (Colibri coruscans)
PURPLE-CROWNED FAIRY (Heliothryx barroti) – One quick bird at Rio Claro as it hovered above us.
RUBY-TOPAZ HUMMINGBIRD (Chrysolampis mosquitus) – Stunning views at the feeders at Jardin Encantado. Certainly an exhilarating moment of the tour!
BLACK-THROATED MANGO (Anthracothorax nigricollis)
SPECKLED HUMMINGBIRD (Adelomyia melanogenys) – Stunning views at the feeders at Jardin Encantado. Certainly an exhilarating moment of the tour!
LONG-TAILED SYLPH (Aglaiocercus kingii) – Dave and Benedict caught one at CWR.
BLACK-TAILED TRAINBEARER (Lesbia victoriae) – It was really a treat to see this and the next species feeding side-by-side at the feeders at Observatorio de Colibries on our first day.
GREEN-TAILED TRAINBEARER (Lesbia nuna)
BRONZE-TAILED THORNBILL (Chalcostigma heteropogon) – Quick views for some at Chingaza; they just wouldn't stay still, or stick around for very long.


The scene at Camarones featured a huge flock of terns, plus Roseate Spoonbills, Brown Pelicans, Neotropic Cormorants and a Great Egret. Photo by participant Benedict de Laender.

TYRIAN METALTAIL (Metallura tyrianthina)
TYRIAN METALTAIL (SANTA MARTA) (Metallura tyrianthina districta) – The Santa Marta form with the blue tail.
GLOWING PUFFLEG (Eriocnemis vestita) – Excellent studies of this and the next species at Observatorio de Colibries.
COPPERY-BELLIED PUFFLEG (Eriocnemis cupreoventris)
BLACK INCA (Coeligena prunellei) – Point-blank studies of this endemic at the forest feeders at CWR. [E]
WHITE-TAILED STARFRONTLET (Coeligena phalerata) – Not visiting the feeders at El Dorado this trip, but we did run into to some females on the slopes below the San Lorenzo Ridge, as well as some quick flying males. [E]
BLUE-THROATED STARFRONTLET (Coeligena helianthea) – A stunning hummer that we saw males and females of on our first day at Observ. de Colibries.
MOUNTAIN VELVETBREAST (Lafresnaya lafresnayi)
SWORD-BILLED HUMMINGBIRD (Ensifera ensifera) – And they just kept coming the first day, when this one edged its way in to feed at the feeders a few times at Observ. de Colibries. One of the great avian sights of the neotropics.
GREAT SAPPHIREWING (Pterophanes cyanopterus) – Right next to the previous species.
BUFF-TAILED CORONET (Boissonneaua flavescens)
BOOTED RACKET-TAIL (Ocreatus underwoodii) – We even spotted a female on a nest! [N]
GREEN-CROWNED BRILLIANT (Heliodoxa jacula)
LONG-BILLED STARTHROAT (Heliomaster longirostris)
WHITE-BELLIED WOODSTAR (Chaetocercus mulsant)
GORGETED WOODSTAR (Chaetocercus heliodor) – We saw this tiny woodstar a few times, such as at Jardin Encantado.
SANTA MARTA WOODSTAR (Chaetocercus astreans) – Endemic to the SM Mountains, and we had fine studies at close range of both males and females below El Dorado. [E]
RED-BILLED EMERALD (Chlorostilbon gibsoni)
SANTA MARTA BLOSSOMCROWN (Anthocephala floriceps) – Well, all of the speculation and scratching our heads over those strange birds we were seeing on the lower slopes of the Santa Martas - way below this species' normal elevational range - became less of an issue after finding, and seeing well, a bonafide, dull male below El Dorado. I still remain intrigued as I am convinced that the birds we saw below Minca and along the coast (at near sea level!) had to be this species as well. The more I learn about birds, the less I am surprised with how they can surprise us; hummers are notorious altitudinal migrants, so maybe this species also undertakes some sort of movement that hasn't yet been worked out. [E]
WHITE-VENTED PLUMELETEER (Chalybura buffonii)
CROWNED WOODNYMPH (Thalurania colombica)
BUFFY HUMMINGBIRD (Leucippus fallax) – This dry forest species was easy at the feeders near Los Camarones!


Participant Steve Parrish got this nice image of a very snazzy Black-crested Antshrike.

ANDEAN EMERALD (Amazilia franciae)
BLUE-CHESTED HUMMINGBIRD (Amazilia amabilis) – We caught one as it fed at a flowering tree at La Victoria.
STEELY-VENTED HUMMINGBIRD (Amazilia saucerottei)
INDIGO-CAPPED HUMMINGBIRD (Amazilia cyanifrons) [E]
RUFOUS-TAILED HUMMINGBIRD (Amazilia tzacatl)
SAPPHIRE-THROATED HUMMINGBIRD (Lepidopyga coeruleogularis) – You have all read about the taxonomic controversy/confusion in the guides, so I won't rehash it here, as you know all that you need to know about the matter. What we also know is that we saw nice males of both this, and the following species for tremendous, comparative scope studies. Whether these are true breeding sympatric species, or simply morphs... well, the researchers will have to figure this out, but we saw them both on the north coast!
SAPPHIRE-BELLIED HUMMINGBIRD (Lepidopyga lilliae)
SHINING-GREEN HUMMINGBIRD (Lepidopyga goudoti)
VIOLET-BELLIED HUMMINGBIRD (Juliamyia julie) – We found a flowering tree with a few south of Mariquita.
Rallidae (Rails, Gallinules, and Coots)
BOGOTA RAIL (Rallus semiplumbeus) – These guys were pretty easy at La Florida as they strutted out and about along the edges of the marsh! [E]
GRAY-COWLED WOOD-RAIL (Aramides cajaneus)
SPOT-FLANKED GALLINULE (Porphyriops melanops) – A lone bird at La Florida as it fed along the far shore line, and then paddled over towards us!
SORA (Porzana carolina) [b]
COMMON GALLINULE (Gallinula galeata)
AMERICAN COOT (Fulica americana columbiana)
PURPLE GALLINULE (Porphyrio martinica) [b]
Aramidae (Limpkin)
LIMPKIN (Aramus guarauna)
Burhinidae (Thick-knees)
DOUBLE-STRIPED THICK-KNEE (Burhinus bistriatus) – Our guide at Los Camarones led us to a pair for good looks.
Haematopodidae (Oystercatchers)
AMERICAN OYSTERCATCHER (Haematopus palliatus)
Charadriidae (Plovers and Lapwings)
BLACK-BELLIED PLOVER (Pluvialis squatarola) [b]
SOUTHERN LAPWING (Vanellus chilensis)
SEMIPALMATED PLOVER (Charadrius semipalmatus) [b]


A vibrant male Vermilion Cardinal posed for participant Benedict de Laender.

Jacanidae (Jacanas)
WATTLED JACANA (BLACK-BACKED) (Jacana jacana hypomelaena)
Scolopacidae (Sandpipers and Allies)
WHIMBREL (Numenius phaeopus) [b]
RUDDY TURNSTONE (Arenaria interpres) [b]
STILT SANDPIPER (Calidris himantopus) [b]
SANDERLING (Calidris alba) [b]
LEAST SANDPIPER (Calidris minutilla) [b]
SEMIPALMATED SANDPIPER (Calidris pusilla) [b]
WESTERN SANDPIPER (Calidris mauri) [b]
SHORT-BILLED DOWITCHER (Limnodromus griseus) [b]
SPOTTED SANDPIPER (Actitis macularius) [b]
SOLITARY SANDPIPER (Tringa solitaria) [b]
GREATER YELLOWLEGS (Tringa melanoleuca) [b]
WILLET (WESTERN) (Tringa semipalmata inornata) [b]
LESSER YELLOWLEGS (Tringa flavipes) [b]
Laridae (Gulls, Terns, and Skimmers)
LAUGHING GULL (Leucophaeus atricilla) [b]
CASPIAN TERN (Hydroprogne caspia)
ROYAL TERN (Thalasseus maximus)
SANDWICH TERN (Thalasseus sandvicensis)
BLACK SKIMMER (Rynchops niger)
Ciconiidae (Storks)
WOOD STORK (Mycteria americana)
Fregatidae (Frigatebirds)
MAGNIFICENT FRIGATEBIRD (Fregata magnificens)
Anhingidae (Anhingas)
ANHINGA (Anhinga anhinga)
Phalacrocoracidae (Cormorants and Shags)
NEOTROPIC CORMORANT (Phalacrocorax brasilianus)
Pelecanidae (Pelicans)
BROWN PELICAN (Pelecanus occidentalis)
Ardeidae (Herons, Egrets, and Bitterns)
RUFESCENT TIGER-HERON (Tigrisoma lineatum marmoratum) – Nice views of this chunky heron a couple of times.
FASCIATED TIGER-HERON (Tigrisoma fasciatum) – We tracked this forest stream species down at Rio Claro for good looks.
GREAT BLUE HERON (Ardea herodias)
COCOI HERON (Ardea cocoi)
GREAT EGRET (Ardea alba)
SNOWY EGRET (Egretta thula)
TRICOLORED HERON (Egretta tricolor)
REDDISH EGRET (Egretta rufescens)
CATTLE EGRET (Bubulcus ibis)
GREEN HERON (Butorides virescens)
STRIATED HERON (Butorides striata)
BLACK-CROWNED NIGHT-HERON (Nycticorax nycticorax)
Threskiornithidae (Ibises and Spoonbills)
WHITE IBIS (Eudocimus albus)
SCARLET IBIS (Eudocimus ruber)
BARE-FACED IBIS (Phimosus infuscatus)
ROSEATE SPOONBILL (Platalea ajaja)
Cathartidae (New World Vultures)
KING VULTURE (Sarcoramphus papa) – Steve spotted our first one as it flew high above at Rio Claro.
BLACK VULTURE (Coragyps atratus)
TURKEY VULTURE (Cathartes aura)
LESSER YELLOW-HEADED VULTURE (Cathartes burrovianus)


We don't usually think of viewing hummingbirds from the back, but this view of a Crowned Woodnymph by participant Jean Perata shows the gorgeous feathering in great detail.

Pandionidae (Osprey)
OSPREY (Pandion haliaetus) [b]
Accipitridae (Hawks, Eagles, and Kites)
PEARL KITE (Gampsonyx swainsonii)
WHITE-TAILED KITE (Elanus leucurus)
SWALLOW-TAILED KITE (Elanoides forficatus) – Elegant, and always a welcome sight.
BLACK HAWK-EAGLE (Spizaetus tyrannus) – We had one fly over at La Victoria.
BLACK-COLLARED HAWK (Busarellus nigricollis) – A hawk of swampy areas that we saw well on the northern coast.
SNAIL KITE (Rostrhamus sociabilis)
PLUMBEOUS KITE (Ictinia plumbea)
COMMON BLACK HAWK (Buteogallus anthracinus) – Scoped at Salamanca N.P.
SAVANNA HAWK (Buteogallus meridionalis)
GREAT BLACK HAWK (Buteogallus urubitinga) – We had one at a lunch stop at Tayrona as it perched up across the river.
SOLITARY EAGLE (Buteogallus solitarius) – One up and soaring in the foothills above La Minca.
ROADSIDE HAWK (Rupornis magnirostris)
HARRIS'S HAWK (Parabuteo unicinctus)
BROAD-WINGED HAWK (Buteo platypterus) [b]
SHORT-TAILED HAWK (Buteo brachyurus)
Strigidae (Owls)
TROPICAL SCREECH-OWL (Megascops choliba) – Fabulous studies of a responsive bird in the spotlight at the Cerulean Warbler reserve one evening.
SCREECH-OWL SP. (Megascops sp.) – Known as the Santa Marta Screech-Owl. We heard them distantly, but they just weren't up for coming in for a look this trip. [*]


This colorful Collared Aracari showed off its rather menacing serrated bill. Photo by participant Steve Parrish.

SPECTACLED OWL (Pulsatrix perspicillata) [*]
FERRUGINOUS PYGMY-OWL (Glaucidium brasilianum) – Nice views one afternoon along the northern coast near Santa Marta.
MOTTLED OWL (Ciccaba virgata) – We called this shy species in for spotlight views as it perched right overhead at close range!
STYGIAN OWL (Asio stygius) [*]
SHORT-EARED OWL (Asio flammeus) – One scoped bird as it perched distantly out over the marsh at La Florida.
Trogonidae (Trogons)
WHITE-TIPPED QUETZAL (Pharomachrus fulgidus) – What a thrill to see this range-restricted species so well, which was made especially sweet when we found a few males investigating a potential nest hole at El Dorado!
WHITE-TAILED TROGON (Trogon chionurus) – Common around Rio Claro.
GARTERED TROGON (Trogon caligatus) – Also at Rio Claro.
COLLARED TROGON (Trogon collaris) – One along the Lengerke Trail for good views.
MASKED TROGON (Trogon personatus sanctaemartae) – We had the Santa Marta form around El Dorado.
Momotidae (Motmots)
ANDEAN MOTMOT (Momotus aequatorialis) – Right at dawn above Libano, for scope studies as they chorused.
RUFOUS MOTMOT (Baryphthengus martii)
BROAD-BILLED MOTMOT (Electron platyrhynchum)
Alcedinidae (Kingfishers)
RINGED KINGFISHER (Megaceryle torquata)
AMAZON KINGFISHER (Chloroceryle amazona)
GREEN KINGFISHER (Chloroceryle americana)
Bucconidae (Puffbirds)
WHITE-NECKED PUFFBIRD (Notharchus hyperrhynchus) – We called this large puffbird in along the northern coast in the Santa Marta area.
PIED PUFFBIRD (Notharchus tectus) – Common in the mangroves around Salamanca.
BARRED PUFFBIRD (Nystalus radiatus) – A pair perched up for us at El Hato.
RUSSET-THROATED PUFFBIRD (Hypnelus ruficollis) – We salvaged this dry forest puffbird species out along the northern coast in the Santa Marta area.
WHITE-WHISKERED PUFFBIRD (Malacoptila panamensis) – We nailed a pair at Rio Claro, which was a bit of a surprise.


The view of the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta is just spectacular! Photo by participant Benedict de Laender.

MOUSTACHED PUFFBIRD (Malacoptila mystacalis) – Killer views a couple of times of this handsome puffbird.
Galbulidae (Jacamars)
RUFOUS-TAILED JACAMAR (Galbula ruficauda)
Capitonidae (New World Barbets)
WHITE-MANTLED BARBET (Capito hypoleucus) – Right on Dave! I say this because he found an active nest hole for us La Victoria for awesome views; sure, we had already seen them otherwise, but not like this! [EN]
Ramphastidae (Toucans)
SOUTHERN EMERALD-TOUCANET (Aulacorhynchus albivitta) – Nesting above Libano at a spot right over the road. [N]
SOUTHERN EMERALD-TOUCANET (SANTA MARTA) (Aulacorhynchus albivitta lautus) – The Santa Marta race that we saw a couple of times.
CRIMSON-RUMPED TOUCANET (Aulacorhynchus haematopygus)
COLLARED ARACARI (Pteroglossus torquatus)
YELLOW-THROATED TOUCAN (CHESTNUT-MANDIBLED) (Ramphastos ambiguus swainsonii)
KEEL-BILLED TOUCAN (Ramphastos sulfuratus) – On the slopes of the Santa Marta Mountains... what a beauty!
CHANNEL-BILLED TOUCAN (CITRON-THROATED) (Ramphastos vitellinus citreolaemus)
Picidae (Woodpeckers)
SCALED PICULET (Picumnus squamulatus) – On the lower slopes of the Santa Marta Mountains.
OLIVACEOUS PICULET (Picumnus olivaceus)
CHESTNUT PICULET (Picumnus cinnamomeus) – We hunted them down for multiple views around Los Camarones! What a stunning piculet species!
BEAUTIFUL WOODPECKER (Melanerpes pulcher) – After bombing at La Victoria, we completely slammed this one at Rio Claro for scope studies as it hung around a set of dead trees right over the road... wow! [E]
RED-CROWNED WOODPECKER (Melanerpes rubricapillus)
SMOKY-BROWN WOODPECKER (Dryobates fumigatus)
RED-RUMPED WOODPECKER (Dryobates kirkii)
CRIMSON-CRESTED WOODPECKER (Campephilus melanoleucos) – One male on the Santa Marta slopes.
LINEATED WOODPECKER (Dryocopus lineatus)
CINNAMON WOODPECKER (Celeus loricatus) – Steve had it, but alas, the group only heard it.
GOLDEN-OLIVE WOODPECKER (Colaptes rubiginosus)
CRIMSON-MANTLED WOODPECKER (Colaptes rivolii) – A fly-by on our first day on the way up to Chingaza.


The Black-headed Tanager has a very interesting color palette, and it is a range-restricted species. We got great looks at them. Photo by participant Steve Parrish.

SPOT-BREASTED WOODPECKER (Colaptes punctigula)
Falconidae (Falcons and Caracaras)
CRESTED CARACARA (Caracara cheriway)
YELLOW-HEADED CARACARA (Milvago chimachima chimachima)
LAUGHING FALCON (Herpetotheres cachinnans) [*]
AMERICAN KESTREL (Falco sparverius)
APLOMADO FALCON (Falco femoralis) – Flying over at El Hato.
BAT FALCON (Falco rufigularis)
PEREGRINE FALCON (Falco peregrinus)
Psittacidae (New World and African Parrots)
ORANGE-CHINNED PARAKEET (Brotogeris jugularis) – Common throughout the Magdalena Valley.
SAFFRON-HEADED PARROT (Pyrilia pyrilia) – After a thrilling search for a perched bird as it called one afternoon at Rio Claro, that we found before it flew off, we tagged in with really nice scope views of one the next morning there, for major "high-fives"!
RED-BILLED PARROT (Pionus sordidus saturatus)
BLUE-HEADED PARROT (Pionus menstruus)
YELLOW-CROWNED PARROT (Amazona ochrocephala)
SCALY-NAPED PARROT (Amazona mercenarius) – Nice views of this highland Amazona a few times.
GREEN-RUMPED PARROTLET (Forpus passerinus)
SPECTACLED PARROTLET (Forpus conspicillatus)
SANTA MARTA PARAKEET (Pyrrhura viridicata) – Could not have been better when we found a flock of them perched right up at the San Lorenzo Ridge! [E]
BROWN-BREASTED PARAKEET (Pyrrhura calliptera) – One of the birds of the trip when we spotted a flying group that then whirled around and perched for us below Chingaza... incredible! [E]
BROWN-THROATED PARAKEET (Eupsittula pertinax)
MILITARY MACAW (Ara militaris) – We tracked them down on the slopes below La Minca one afternoon for scope views... always exciting!
CHESTNUT-FRONTED MACAW (Ara severus)
SCARLET-FRONTED PARAKEET (Psittacara wagleri) – Common up in the Santa Martas.


Participant Benedict de Laender got a great image of a Cocoa Woodcreeper with some kind of large insect.

Thamnophilidae (Typical Antbirds)
RUFOUS-RUMPED ANTWREN (Euchrepomis callinota) – With a flock along the Lengerke Trail.
GREAT ANTSHRIKE (Taraba major) [*]
BLACK-CRESTED ANTSHRIKE (Sakesphorus canadensis) – Good looks on the northern coast.
BAR-CRESTED ANTSHRIKE (Thamnophilus multistriatus) – Common in the Magdalena Valley.
BLACK-CROWNED ANTSHRIKE (Thamnophilus atrinucha)
UNIFORM ANTSHRIKE (Thamnophilus unicolor) – A nice pair with a flock along the Lengerke Trail.
BLACK-BACKED ANTSHRIKE (Thamnophilus melanonotus) – We tracked down a pair below La Minca.
RECURVE-BILLED BUSHBIRD (Clytoctantes alixii) – This one always takes some searching, but we were victorious in the end, finding males and females in the Ocana area for nice looks.
PLAIN ANTVIREO (Dysithamnus mentalis)
PACIFIC ANTWREN (Myrmotherula pacifica)
WHITE-FRINGED ANTWREN (NORTHERN) (Formicivora grisea intermedia)
KLAGES'S ANTBIRD (Drymophila klagesi) – Good looks in the bamboo stands in the bushbird reserve.
SANTA MARTA ANTBIRD (Drymophila hellmayri) – We found a pair overhead for nice views above La Minca. [E]
PARKER'S ANTBIRD (Cercomacroides parkeri) – After some searching we finally got a responsive bird along the Lengerke Trail. [E]
DUSKY ANTBIRD (Cercomacroides tyrannina) [*]
JET ANTBIRD (Cercomacra nigricans)
WHITE-BELLIED ANTBIRD (Myrmeciza longipes)
CHESTNUT-BACKED ANTBIRD (Poliocrania exsul)
MAGDALENA ANTBIRD (Sipia palliata) – Crippling studies of a female at Rio Claro!
Grallariidae (Antpittas)
CHESTNUT-CROWNED ANTPITTA (Grallaria ruficapilla) [*]
SANTA MARTA ANTPITTA (Grallaria bangsi) – We arrived at the feeder station at just the right moment, and clinched awesome looks at a couple of birds as they devoured cold worms and warmed our hearts! [E]
RUFOUS ANTPITTA (Grallaria rufula) – Seen by a few folks below Chingaza.
TAWNY ANTPITTA (Grallaria quitensis) [*]
RUSTY-BREASTED ANTPITTA (RUSTY-BREASTED) (Grallaricula ferrugineipectus ferrugineipectus) – On our final attempt we scored big as we made our way down the slopes of the Santa Marta Mountains.
Rhinocryptidae (Tapaculos)
SANTA MARTA TAPACULO (Scytalopus sanctaemartae) – A couple of them popped up for good views as we made our way down the mountain! [E]
MAGDALENA TAPACULO (Scytalopus rodriguezi) – We weren't about to let this one outsmart us, so we persisted and clinched nice views of them along the Lengerke Trail. [E]
BROWN-RUMPED TAPACULO (Scytalopus latebricola) – Seen well a few times up on the higher slopes of the Santa Marta Mountains. [E]
PALE-BELLIED TAPACULO (Scytalopus griseicollis) – Flew across the road road below Chingaza!
Furnariidae (Ovenbirds and Woodcreepers)
OLIVACEOUS WOODCREEPER (Sittasomus griseicapillus) – I think I might have been the only one to see this one... anybody else?
PLAIN-BROWN WOODCREEPER (Dendrocincla fuliginosa)
WEDGE-BILLED WOODCREEPER (Glyphorynchus spirurus)
BLACK-BANDED WOODCREEPER (Dendrocolaptes picumnus) [*]
STRONG-BILLED WOODCREEPER (Xiphocolaptes promeropirhynchus) – Nice views of this hulk up in the Santa Martas.
COCOA WOODCREEPER (Xiphorhynchus susurrans)
OLIVE-BACKED WOODCREEPER (Xiphorhynchus triangularis)
STRAIGHT-BILLED WOODCREEPER (Dendroplex picus)
RED-BILLED SCYTHEBILL (Campylorhamphus trochilirostris) – Seen well out in the dry forests at Los Camarones.


The Buffy Hummingbird is well-named; it is not an excitingly colorful bird, but it is a range-restricted species, and we had good views of them near Los Camarones. Photo by participant Jean Perata.

BROWN-BILLED SCYTHEBILL (Campylorhamphus pusillus) – With a flock along the Lengerke Trail... nice!
STREAK-HEADED WOODCREEPER (Lepidocolaptes souleyetii)
MONTANE WOODCREEPER (Lepidocolaptes lacrymiger sanctaemartae) – The Santa Marta race, which sounds very different from the forms of the main Andean chain.
PLAIN XENOPS (Xenops minutus)
STREAKED XENOPS (Xenops rutilans)
PALE-LEGGED HORNERO (CARIBBEAN) (Furnarius leucopus longirostris)
SHARP-TAILED STREAMCREEPER (Lochmias nematura) [*]
MONTANE FOLIAGE-GLEANER (Anabacerthia striaticollis)
LINEATED FOLIAGE-GLEANER (Syndactyla subalaris) [*]
SANTA MARTA FOLIAGE-GLEANER (Clibanornis rufipectus) – We had to work for it, but did finally see it well on the slopes of the Santa Martas a few times. [E]
WHITE-BROWED SPINETAIL (Hellmayrea gularis) [*]
MANY-STRIPED CANASTERO (Asthenes flammulata) – In the grasslands at Chingaza.
WHITE-CHINNED THISTLETAIL (Asthenes fuliginosa) – Seen on our first day at Chingaza.
DOUBLE-BANDED GRAYTAIL (Xenerpestes minlosi) – A pair came in for us as we made our way down the slopes from the Cerulean Warbler Reserve, and we really tagged in for some exceptional views of this hard-to find species.
STREAK-CAPPED SPINETAIL (Cranioleuca hellmayri) – Common in the Santa Marta range. [E]
ASH-BROWED SPINETAIL (Cranioleuca curtata)
YELLOW-CHINNED SPINETAIL (Certhiaxis cinnamomeus)
SILVERY-THROATED SPINETAIL (Synallaxis subpudica) – A range-restricted endemic that we tracked down on the slopes above Bogota on our first day. [E]
PALE-BREASTED SPINETAIL (Synallaxis albescens)
AZARA'S SPINETAIL (Synallaxis azarae) [*]
WHITE-WHISKERED SPINETAIL (Synallaxis candei) – A handsomely-marked spinetail of the drier forests of the north, and we saw it well!
RUSTY-HEADED SPINETAIL (Synallaxis fuscorufa) – Up in the temperate forests of the San Lorenzo Ridge, where it calls constantly! [E]


We could not have gotten better views of this female Magdalena Antbird! She posed nicely for participant Benedict de Laender, who captured this great portrait.

STRIPE-BREASTED SPINETAIL (Synallaxis cinnamomea) – A tough one to see sometimes, but we did manage to glimpse it a few times in the bushbird reserve.
Pipridae (Manakins)
LANCE-TAILED MANAKIN (Chiroxiphia lanceolata) – Steve might have had one.
GOLDEN-WINGED MANAKIN (Masius chrysopterus) – Quick views at a female along the Lengerke Trail.
WHITE-BIBBED MANAKIN (Corapipo leucorrhoa) – La Victoria, where we saw many, many, young males!
WHITE-BEARDED MANAKIN (Manacus manacus) – Most common around Rio Claro.
STRIOLATED MANAKIN (STRIOLATED) (Machaeropterus striolatus striolatus) – We scoped what appeared to be a female at La Victoria.
WHITE-CROWNED MANAKIN (Dixiphia pipra)
GOLDEN-HEADED MANAKIN (Ceratopipra erythrocephala) – A male and female, side-by-side!
Cotingidae (Cotingas)
GOLDEN-BREASTED FRUITEATER (Pipreola aureopectus) – Fabulous views in the Santa Martas!
Tityridae (Tityras and Allies)
BLACK-CROWNED TITYRA (Tityra inquisitor) – We were hoping for our first Beautiful Woodpeckers, but got a nesting pair of this species instead!
MASKED TITYRA (Tityra semifasciata)
BROWN-WINGED SCHIFFORNIS (Schiffornis turdina) [*]
BARRED BECARD (Pachyramphus versicolor) [*]
CINNAMON BECARD (Pachyramphus cinnamomeus)
WHITE-WINGED BECARD (Pachyramphus polychopterus) [*]
ONE-COLORED BECARD (Pachyramphus homochrous) – Nice scope views of a pair at a nest. [N]
Oxyruncidae (Sharpbill, Royal Flycatcher, and Allies)
RUDDY-TAILED FLYCATCHER (Terenotriccus erythrurus) – With a flock at Rio Claro.
Tyrannidae (Tyrant Flycatchers)
WING-BARRED PIPRITES (Piprites chloris) [*]
STREAK-NECKED FLYCATCHER (Mionectes striaticollis)
OLIVE-STRIPED FLYCATCHER (Mionectes olivaceus) – Tends to replace the previous species at lower elevations.
OCHRE-BELLIED FLYCATCHER (Mionectes oleagineus) – Numerous in lowland areas.


The tiny Santa Marta Woodstar was another endemic that showed well for us. Photo by participant Steve Parrish.

SEPIA-CAPPED FLYCATCHER (Leptopogon amaurocephalus) – Great looks at this and the following species, once even in the same flock.
SLATY-CAPPED FLYCATCHER (Leptopogon superciliaris)
ANTIOQUIA BRISTLE-TYRANT (Phylloscartes lanyoni) – A local endemic that we dragged out of a flock at Rio Claro... nice! [E]
RUFOUS-BROWED TYRANNULET (Phylloscartes superciliaris) – Steve and I caught one in a canopy flock the Cerulean Warbler Reserve, but it was tough to see.
BLACK-CAPPED PYGMY-TYRANT (Myiornis atricapillus) – The size of a ping-pong ball!
SCALE-CRESTED PYGMY-TYRANT (Lophotriccus pileatus)
PALE-EYED PYGMY-TYRANT (Atalotriccus pilaris)
PEARLY-VENTED TODY-TYRANT (Hemitriccus margaritaceiventer)
BLACK-THROATED TODY-TYRANT (Hemitriccus granadensis) [*]
SLATE-HEADED TODY-FLYCATCHER (Poecilotriccus sylvia) – Superb scope views at El Hato.
COMMON TODY-FLYCATCHER (Todirostrum cinereum)
BLACK-HEADED TODY-FLYCATCHER (Todirostrum nigriceps)
OLIVACEOUS FLATBILL (Rhynchocyclus olivaceus) – Nest building right over the road at Rio Claro.
YELLOW-OLIVE FLYCATCHER (Tolmomyias sulphurescens)
YELLOW-MARGINED FLYCATCHER (Tolmomyias assimilis)
YELLOW-BREASTED FLYCATCHER (Tolmomyias flaviventris)
CINNAMON FLYCATCHER (SANTA MARTA) (Pyrrhomyias cinnamomeus assimilis) – The very richly-colored Santa Marta form.
ORNATE FLYCATCHER (Myiotriccus ornatus) – Always a beautiful sight!
BROWN-CAPPED TYRANNULET (Ornithion brunneicapillus) [*]
SOUTHERN BEARDLESS-TYRANNULET (Camptostoma obsoletum)
WHITE-THROATED TYRANNULET (Mecocerculus leucophrys)


White-tipped Quetzal is another range-restricted species that we saw well at El Dorado. Photo by participant Benedict de Laender.

MOUSE-COLORED TYRANNULET (Phaeomyias murina)
YELLOW-CROWNED TYRANNULET (Tyrannulus elatus)
FOREST ELAENIA (Myiopagis gaimardii)
GREENISH ELAENIA (Myiopagis viridicata)
YELLOW-BELLIED ELAENIA (Elaenia flavogaster)
MOUNTAIN ELAENIA (Elaenia frantzii)
SOOTY-HEADED TYRANNULET (Phyllomyias griseiceps) – The one without any real discernable wing bars.
BLACK-CAPPED TYRANNULET (Phyllomyias nigrocapillus) – The one without any real discernible wing bars.
PLUMBEOUS-CROWNED TYRANNULET (Phyllomyias plumbeiceps) – Active and responsive with a flock at the Cerulean Warbler Reserve.
SPECTACLED TYRANNULET (Zimmerius improbus improbus) – A striking tyrannulet - head pattern reminded us of Blue-headed Vireo! - that we tracked down on the slopes of the Santa Martas as it fed in mistletoe patches.
GOLDEN-FACED TYRANNULET (COOPMANS'S) (Zimmerius chrysops minimus) – The form of Golden-faced Tyrannulet that occurs on the slopes of the Santa Martas.
GOLDEN-FACED TYRANNULET (GOLDEN-FACED) (Zimmerius chrysops chrysops) – Found in many areas on the main chain of the Andes.
SLENDER-BILLED TYRANNULET (Inezia tenuirostris) – The smaller of the two Inezia species in the Guajira area.
PALE-TIPPED TYRANNULET (Inezia caudata) – Larger than the previous species, and less numerous, but we pulled a couple out in the Guajira.
OLIVE-SIDED FLYCATCHER (Contopus cooperi) [b]
WESTERN WOOD-PEWEE (Contopus sordidulus) [b]
ACADIAN FLYCATCHER (Empidonax virescens) [b]
BLACK PHOEBE (Sayornis nigricans)
NORTHERN SCRUB-FLYCATCHER (Sublegatus arenarum) – Fairly common in the drier forests of the north.
VERMILION FLYCATCHER (Pyrocephalus rubinus)
SANTA MARTA BUSH-TYRANT (Myiotheretes pernix) [E*]
PIED WATER-TYRANT (Fluvicola pica)
CROWNED CHAT-TYRANT (Ochthoeca frontalis) – Good looks at this shy temperate forest species out of Bogota.
RUFOUS-BREASTED CHAT-TYRANT (Ochthoeca rufipectoralis) [*]
BROWN-BACKED CHAT-TYRANT (Ochthoeca fumicolor)
LONG-TAILED TYRANT (Colonia colonus)
BRIGHT-RUMPED ATTILA (Attila spadiceus)
DUSKY-CAPPED FLYCATCHER (Myiarchus tuberculifer)
PANAMA FLYCATCHER (Myiarchus panamensis) – Common around Salamanca N.P.
APICAL FLYCATCHER (Myiarchus apicalis) – Our real search for this endemic lasted all of about two minutes when we found a pair right in front of the bus at El Hato for excellent studies. [E]
GREAT CRESTED FLYCATCHER (Myiarchus crinitus) [b*]
BROWN-CRESTED FLYCATCHER (Myiarchus tyrannulus)
CATTLE TYRANT (Machetornis rixosa)
GREAT KISKADEE (Pitangus sulphuratus)
BOAT-BILLED FLYCATCHER (Megarynchus pitangua)
RUSTY-MARGINED FLYCATCHER (Myiozetetes cayanensis)
SOCIAL FLYCATCHER (Myiozetetes similis)
GOLDEN-CROWNED FLYCATCHER (Myiodynastes chrysocephalus)
STREAKED FLYCATCHER (Myiodynastes maculatus)
PIRATIC FLYCATCHER (Legatus leucophaius)


We saw many great hummingbirds at the Observatorio de Colibries, including this rather surprised-looking Sword-billed Hummingbird. Photo by participant Steve Parrish.

TROPICAL KINGBIRD (Tyrannus melancholicus)
GRAY KINGBIRD (Tyrannus dominicensis)
FORK-TAILED FLYCATCHER (Tyrannus savana)
Vireonidae (Vireos, Shrike-Babblers, and Erpornis)
RUFOUS-BROWED PEPPERSHRIKE (Cyclarhis gujanensis) – After hearing them a few times we spotted one on the northern coast.
BLACK-BILLED PEPPERSHRIKE (Cyclarhis nigrirostris) [*]
SCRUB GREENLET (Hylophilus flavipes) – Especially common in the dry forests of the north.
LESSER GREENLET (Pachysylvia decurtata)
GOLDEN-FRONTED GREENLET (Pachysylvia aurantiifrons) – On the slopes of the Santa Martas.
RUFOUS-NAPED GREENLET (Pachysylvia semibrunnea) – A fancy greenlet that was common with foothill flocks.
BROWN-CAPPED VIREO (Vireo leucophrys)
RED-EYED VIREO (Vireo olivaceus)
Corvidae (Crows, Jays, and Magpies)
BLACK-CHESTED JAY (Cyanocorax affinis) – Plentiful, but always a joy to see!
GREEN JAY (Cyanocorax yncas) – The yellower, South American form that is sometimes split out as "Inca Jay".
Hirundinidae (Swallows)
BLUE-AND-WHITE SWALLOW (Pygochelidon cyanoleuca)
WHITE-THIGHED SWALLOW (Atticora tibialis)
SOUTHERN ROUGH-WINGED SWALLOW (Stelgidopteryx ruficollis)
GRAY-BREASTED MARTIN (Progne chalybea)
BARN SWALLOW (Hirundo rustica) [b]
Polioptilidae (Gnatcatchers)
LONG-BILLED GNATWREN (Ramphocaenus melanurus) – Creeping about in the vine tangles at La Victoria.
TROPICAL GNATCATCHER (PLUMBICEPS/ANTEOCULARIS) (Polioptila plumbea anteocularis) – The form we saw at El Hato in the Magdalena Valley.
TROPICAL GNATCATCHER (PLUMBICEPS/ANTEOCULARIS) (Polioptila plumbea plumbiceps) – Common in the Guajira.
Troglodytidae (Wrens)
SCALY-BREASTED WREN (Microcerculus marginatus) [*]


These White-mantled Barbets at La Victoria were working on a nest hole, allowing us a great view. Photo by participant Benedict de Laender.

HOUSE WREN (SOUTHERN) (Troglodytes aedon musculus)
SEDGE WREN (VENEZUELAN) (Cistothorus platensis alticola)
BAND-BACKED WREN (Campylorhynchus zonatus) – A handsome canopy wren of lowland and foothill humid forests.
STRIPE-BACKED WREN (Campylorhynchus nuchalis) – Replaces the previous species in the drier forests of the north.
BICOLORED WREN (Campylorhynchus griseus) – All over the place, but always a welcome sight.
SOOTY-HEADED WREN (Pheugopedius spadix) – We dragged this one out of a vine tangle, kicking and screaming, at La Victoria for wonderful views.
BLACK-BELLIED WREN (Pheugopedius fasciatoventris) – This large wren is wide-ranging and vocal.
WHISKERED WREN (Pheugopedius mystacalis) – Seen a few times in the eastern Andes.
RUFOUS-BREASTED WREN (Pheugopedius rutilus) – We finally caught up with this one for nice views on the slopes of the Santa Martas.
RUFOUS-AND-WHITE WREN (Thryophilus rufalbus) – Superb views near Ocana of a singing bird.
NICEFORO'S WREN (Thryophilus nicefori) – A very range-restricted species. After some searching around the lodge at the Cerulean Warbler Reserve, we tracked one down for decent views. We topped this the next day down the road when we found a very cooperative pair for killer studies. This one looks like a duller Rufous-and-white Wren. [E]
BAY WREN (Cantorchilus nigricapillus) – Common around Rio Claro.
BUFF-BREASTED WREN (Cantorchilus leucotis)
RUFOUS WREN (Cinnycerthia unirufa) – A group flew by in the highlands below Chingaza, but the looks were pretty good.
WHITE-BREASTED WOOD-WREN (BLACK-CAPPED) (Henicorhina leucosticta albilateralis) [*]
GRAY-BREASTED WOOD-WREN (Henicorhina leucophrys) [*]
GRAY-BREASTED WOOD-WREN (BANGSI) (Henicorhina leucophrys bangsi) – Nesting right around the lodge at El Dorado! [N]
HERMIT WOOD-WREN (Henicorhina anachoreta) – Plenty of fine studies in the highlands of the Santa Martas on our day up to the San Lorenzo ridge. Essentially identical to the previous species visually, but we did prove how this one really responded more actively to its own song. [E]
Mimidae (Mockingbirds and Thrashers)
TROPICAL MOCKINGBIRD (Mimus gilvus)
Turdidae (Thrushes and Allies)
ORANGE-BILLED NIGHTINGALE-THRUSH (Catharus aurantiirostris) – Nice views at the bushbird reserve.
SLATY-BACKED NIGHTINGALE-THRUSH (Catharus fuscater) [*]
SWAINSON'S THRUSH (Catharus ustulatus) [b]


It's easy to see how the Ruby-Topaz Hummingbird got its name; what a jewel! Photo by participant Steve Parrish.

PALE-BREASTED THRUSH (Turdus leucomelas)
YELLOW-LEGGED THRUSH (Turdus flavipes) – What a songster!
SPECTACLED THRUSH (Turdus nudigenis) – Nice scope views in the Ocana area.
BLACK-BILLED THRUSH (Turdus ignobilis)
CHESTNUT-BELLIED THRUSH (Turdus fulviventris) – A few folks caught this one at the bushbird reserve before it slipped away.
BLACK-HOODED THRUSH (Turdus olivater) – Numerous in the Santa Martas.
GREAT THRUSH (Turdus fuscater) – Common around Bogota. We also saw the form in the highlands of the Santa Martas that could be eligible for a split someday... hmmm.
Fringillidae (Finches, Euphonias, and Allies)
BLUE-NAPED CHLOROPHONIA (Chlorophonia cyanea) – Stunning views of this chlorophonia at El Dorado's feeders.
TRINIDAD EUPHONIA (Euphonia trinitatis) – Common, but tricky to see out in the drier forests of the Guajira area. We managed some nice views though.
VELVET-FRONTED EUPHONIA (Euphonia concinna) – Right up above the Apical Flycatchers; an endemic double-header! [E]
THICK-BILLED EUPHONIA (Euphonia laniirostris)
GOLDEN-RUMPED EUPHONIA (Euphonia cyanocephala)
FULVOUS-VENTED EUPHONIA (Euphonia fulvicrissa)
ORANGE-BELLIED EUPHONIA (Euphonia xanthogaster)
LESSER GOLDFINCH (Spinus psaltria) – Most common in the Santa Martas.
ANDEAN SISKIN (Spinus spinescens) – Bogota area.
YELLOW-BELLIED SISKIN (Spinus xanthogastrus) – The one with the all black hood.
Rhodinocichlidae (Thrush-Tanager)
ROSY THRUSH-TANAGER (Rhodinocichla rosea) – We dug out a singing male on the slopes of the Santa Martas for scope views!
Passerellidae (New World Sparrows)
ASHY-THROATED CHLOROSPINGUS (Chlorospingus canigularis)
COMMON CHLOROSPINGUS (Chlorospingus flavopectus)
BLACK-STRIPED SPARROW (Arremonops conirostris)
TOCUYO SPARROW (Arremonops tocuyensis) – We scored with this secretive dry forest species a couple of times in the Guajira for nice encounters.


We had a nice view of this male Collared Trogon on the Lengerke Trail. Photo by participant Steve Parrish.

SIERRA NEVADA BRUSHFINCH (Arremon basilicus) – This is certainly a brushfinch-heavy trip, with plenty of endemics, isn't it?! Also known as Colombian Brushfinch, this one is endemic to the Santa Marta Mountains. We had excellent studies of them at the feeders right around El Dorado. [E]
BLACK-HEADED BRUSHFINCH (Arremon atricapillus atricapillus) – Above Libano.
GOLDEN-WINGED SPARROW (Arremon schlegeli) – On the slopes of the Santa Martas... a really spiffy bird!
CHESTNUT-CAPPED BRUSHFINCH (Arremon brunneinucha)
RUFOUS-COLLARED SPARROW (Zonotrichia capensis)
WHITE-NAPED BRUSHFINCH (YELLOW-THROATED) (Atlapetes albinucha gutturalis) – A few above Libano.
MOUSTACHED BRUSHFINCH (Atlapetes albofrenatus) – Active, very visible, and singing at the bushbird reserve! A fancy Brushfinch!
SANTA MARTA BRUSHFINCH (Atlapetes melanocephalus) – Yet another Santa Marta endemic. This was the brushfinch with the gray cheek patch, and a very common species around El Dorado lodge. [E]
YELLOW-HEADED BRUSHFINCH (Atlapetes flaviceps) – A range-restricted brushfinch species in the shrinking forest patches of the central Andes. We enjoyed plenty of fine studies of them at close range during our morning of birding above Libano. [E]
SLATY BRUSHFINCH (Atlapetes schistaceus) – Quick views above Bogota on our first day.
PALE-NAPED BRUSHFINCH (Atlapetes pallidinucha)
Icteridae (Troupials and Allies)
EASTERN MEADOWLARK (Sturnella magna) – Common in highland meadows.
RED-BREASTED MEADOWLARK (Leistes militaris)
RUSSET-BACKED OROPENDOLA (Psarocolius angustifrons) [*]
CRESTED OROPENDOLA (Psarocolius decumanus)
CHESTNUT-HEADED OROPENDOLA (Psarocolius wagleri) – A beautiful, but odd looking oropendola species; we had some nice views of them in the Magdalena Valley.
YELLOW-RUMPED CACIQUE (Cacicus cela)
YELLOW-BACKED ORIOLE (Icterus chrysater) – We had a couple of them at La Florida one morning... never saw them again!
YELLOW ORIOLE (Icterus nigrogularis) – The common oriole of the trip.
BALTIMORE ORIOLE (Icterus galbula) [b]
SHINY COWBIRD (Molothrus bonariensis)
GIANT COWBIRD (Molothrus oryzivorus)
GREAT-TAILED GRACKLE (Quiscalus mexicanus)
CARIB GRACKLE (Quiscalus lugubris)
YELLOW-HOODED BLACKBIRD (Chrysomus icterocephalus) – Seen first out along the edges of the marsh at La Florida.
Parulidae (New World Warblers)
LOUISIANA WATERTHRUSH (Parkesia motacilla) – One clean bird along the roadside on the slopes of the Santa Martas. [b]
NORTHERN WATERTHRUSH (Parkesia noveboracensis) [b]
GOLDEN-WINGED WARBLER (Vermivora chrysoptera) – Always a joy to see, and especially on its wintering grounds. [b]
BLACK-AND-WHITE WARBLER (Mniotilta varia) [b]
PROTHONOTARY WARBLER (Protonotaria citrea) – Abundant in the mangroves at Salamanca. [b]
TENNESSEE WARBLER (Leiothlypis peregrina) [b]
MOURNING WARBLER (Geothlypis philadelphia) – We found a male above Libano. [b]
AMERICAN REDSTART (Setophaga ruticilla) [b]
CERULEAN WARBLER (Setophaga cerulea) – Not right in the Cerulean Warbler Reserve, but just down the road. [b]
TROPICAL PARULA (Setophaga pitiayumi)
BAY-BREASTED WARBLER (Setophaga castanea) [b]
BLACKBURNIAN WARBLER (Setophaga fusca) [b]


One of the Santa Marta Antpittas posed beautifully for participant Benedict de Laender at the feeding station.

YELLOW WARBLER (Setophaga petechia) [b]
RUFOUS-CAPPED WARBLER (CHESTNUT-CAPPED) (Basileuterus rufifrons mesochrysus)
GOLDEN-CROWNED WARBLER (Basileuterus culicivorus)
THREE-STRIPED WARBLER (Basileuterus tristriatus)
SANTA MARTA WARBLER (Myiothlypis basilica) – This was the one that sort of got away since only Steve and I got onto it; these guys can be very sneaky, fast, and hard to see in the undergrowth of the highlands in the Santa Martas. [E]
BLACK-CRESTED WARBLER (Myiothlypis nigrocristata)
BUFF-RUMPED WARBLER (Myiothlypis fulvicauda)
GRAY-THROATED WARBLER (Myiothlypis cinereicollis) – Fine studies at the bushbird reserve along the roadside.
WHITE-LORED WARBLER (Myiothlypis conspicillata) – Common around El Dorado. [E]
CANADA WARBLER (Cardellina canadensis) [b]
SLATE-THROATED REDSTART (Myioborus miniatus)
YELLOW-CROWNED REDSTART (Myioborus flavivertex) – This Santa Marta endemic is easy at the San Lorenzo ridge. [E]
GOLDEN-FRONTED REDSTART (Myioborus ornatus) – In the temperate forests above Bogota.
Mitrospingidae (Mitrospingid Tanagers)
DUSKY-FACED TANAGER (Mitrospingus cassinii) – Man... these guys can be really noisy!
Cardinalidae (Cardinals and Allies)
HEPATIC TANAGER (Piranga flava)
SUMMER TANAGER (Piranga rubra) [b]
SCARLET TANAGER (Piranga olivacea) [b]
WHITE-WINGED TANAGER (Piranga leucoptera) [*]
SOOTY ANT-TANAGER (Habia gutturalis) – I was expecting more of a struggle, but we had a pretty easy time with this endemic at La Victoria for some wonderful studies as they called and erected those distinctive crests! [E]
VERMILION CARDINAL (Cardinalis phoeniceus) – Made easy now that there are feeders! What a stunner!
GOLDEN GROSBEAK (Pheucticus chrysogaster) – Jean had one from her cabin window at El Dorado!
ROSE-BREASTED GROSBEAK (Pheucticus ludovicianus) [b]


This Tropical Screech-Owl was seen on an evening walk at the Cerulean Warbler Reserve. Photo by participant Benedict de Laender.

BLUE-BLACK GROSBEAK (Cyanoloxia cyanoides) [*]
Thraupidae (Tanagers and Allies)
GRAY-HEADED TANAGER (Eucometis penicillata)
WHITE-SHOULDERED TANAGER (Tachyphonus luctuosus)
TAWNY-CRESTED TANAGER (Tachyphonus delatrii)
WHITE-LINED TANAGER (Tachyphonus rufus)
FLAME-RUMPED TANAGER (LEMON-RUMPED) (Ramphocelus flammigerus icteronotus)
CRIMSON-BACKED TANAGER (Ramphocelus dimidiatus) – Common, but always eye-catching!
BLACK-CHESTED MOUNTAIN-TANAGER (Cnemathraupis eximia) – We found a couple of close birds in the temperate forests above Bogota.
BLACK-CHEEKED MOUNTAIN-TANAGER (Anisognathus melanogenys) – Wonderful views up at the San Lorenzo ridge as they foraged about with a flock. [E]
SCARLET-BELLIED MOUNTAIN-TANAGER (Anisognathus igniventris) – Dazzling!
BUFF-BREASTED MOUNTAIN-TANAGER (Dubusia taeniata)
BLUE-GRAY TANAGER (Thraupis episcopus)
GLAUCOUS TANAGER (Thraupis glaucocolpa) – Right in town at Los Camarones! Replaces the previous species in the Guajira.
PALM TANAGER (Thraupis palmarum)
BLUE-CAPPED TANAGER (Thraupis cyanocephala)
SPECKLED TANAGER (Ixothraupis guttata)
BLACK-HEADED TANAGER (Stilpnia cyanoptera) – No book does this one justice; in life it is just so striking!
BLACK-CAPPED TANAGER (Stilpnia heinei)
BURNISHED-BUFF TANAGER (Stilpnia cayana)
SCRUB TANAGER (Stilpnia vitriolina)
GOLDEN-HOODED TANAGER (Stilpnia larvata)
BLUE-NECKED TANAGER (Stilpnia cyanicollis) – The one with the all blue head.


Getting on the horses isn't easy! Participant Steve Parrish got this action photo as we were mounting up.

PLAIN-COLORED TANAGER (Tangara inornata) – We ran into a couple of groups of them.
BAY-HEADED TANAGER (BAY-AND-BLUE) (Tangara gyrola catharinae) – The blue-bellied form common throughout its range.
BAY-HEADED TANAGER (BAY-AND-GREEN) (Tangara gyrola viridissima) – This green-bellied form of the Santa Martas might well be split out someday! We had them for excellent studies at the feeders at El Dorado.
GOLDEN TANAGER (Tangara arthus)
SWALLOW TANAGER (Tersina viridis)
BLACK-FACED DACNIS (YELLOW-TUFTED) (Dacnis lineata egregia)
TURQUOISE DACNIS (Dacnis hartlaubi) – Right up in the usual tree above the lodge at the Cerulean Warbler Reserve, where it always is. Now that is what I call a stake-out! [E]
BLUE DACNIS (Dacnis cayana)
PURPLE HONEYCREEPER (Cyanerpes caeruleus)
SCARLET-BROWED TANAGER (Heterospingus xanthopygius) – Some nice views of them at Rio Claro thanks to Dave's spotting.
GUIRA TANAGER (Hemithraupis guira)
YELLOW-BACKED TANAGER (Hemithraupis flavicollis) – We had a nice group of them with a flock at La Victoria.
BICOLORED CONEBILL (Conirostrum bicolor) – All over the place in the mangroves at Salamanca! Found on Amazonian river islands in other parts of its range.
RUFOUS-BROWED CONEBILL (Conirostrum rufum) – Nicely at Chingaza on our first day!
GLOSSY FLOWERPIERCER (Diglossa lafresnayii)
BLACK FLOWERPIERCER (Diglossa humeralis nocticolor) – The form with the blue in the shoulder that we saw on the first two days of the trip.
BLACK FLOWERPIERCER (Diglossa humeralis humeralis) – The all black form of the Santa Martas.
WHITE-SIDED FLOWERPIERCER (Diglossa albilatera)
RUSTY FLOWERPIERCER (Diglossa sittoides) – A few on the Santa Martas.
BLUISH FLOWERPIERCER (Diglossa caerulescens)
PLUMBEOUS SIERRA-FINCH (Geospizopsis unicolor)
BLACK-HEADED HEMISPINGUS (Pseudospingus verticalis) – Briefly up near Chingaza.


But riding is worth the effort! Once we got to the top of the trail, we had a wonderful time birding. Photo by participant Steve Parrish.

SAFFRON FINCH (Sicalis flaveola)
BLUE-BLACK GRASSQUIT (Volatinia jacarina)
RUDDY-BREASTED SEEDEATER (Sporophila minuta) – Steve had one in the Rio Claro area.
GRAY SEEDEATER (Sporophila intermedia) – Seen first in the parking lot at Tabacal!
YELLOW-BELLIED SEEDEATER (Sporophila nigricollis)
SLATE-COLORED SEEDEATER (Sporophila schistacea) [*]
PARAMO SEEDEATER (Catamenia homochroa) – Briefly on the first day as we headed up to Chingaza.
PILEATED FINCH (Coryphospingus pileatus)
BANANAQUIT (Coereba flaveola)
YELLOW-FACED GRASSQUIT (Tiaris olivaceus) [*]
BLACK-FACED GRASSQUIT (Melanospiza bicolor)
BUFF-THROATED SALTATOR (Saltator maximus)
BLACK-WINGED SALTATOR (Saltator atripennis)
ORINOCAN SALTATOR (Saltator orenocensis) – A well-marked saltator of drier habitats that we had for excellent views in the Guajira.
GRAYISH SALTATOR (Saltator coerulescens)
STREAKED SALTATOR (Saltator striatipectus)

MAMMALS
LESSER BULLDOG BAT (Noctilio albiventris) – What may have been this large species at El Hato.
SILVERY-BROWN BARE-FACE TAMARIN (Saguinus leucopus) – Seen a few times at close range; La Victoria and Rio Claro.
GRAY-BELLIED NIGHT MONKEY (Aotus lemurinus) – These guys now just sit there in the evenings and wait for bananas right next to the lodge at El Dorado!
RED HOWLER MONKEY (Alouatta seniculus) – Close encounters with this large monkey along the northern coast.
RED-TAILED SQUIRREL (Sciurus granatensis) – This is the only squirrel of this type that I feel comfortable listing.
SANTANDER DWARF SQUIRREL (Microsciurus santanderensis) – The small squirrel that we saw in the Cerulean Warbler Reserve. [EN]
GUINEA PIG (Cavia aperea) – Wild forms in the highlands.
CENTRAL AMERICAN AGOUTI (Dasyprocta punctata) – Around El Dorado lodge.
KINKAJOU (Potos flavus) – Right at the upstairs deck at El Dorado!


ADDITIONAL COMMENTS


Totals for the tour: 563 bird taxa and 9 mammal taxa