Field Guides
Home Tours Guides News About Us FAQ Contact Us
Field Guides Tour Report
Colombia: Medellin Escape 2017
Feb 4, 2017 to Feb 13, 2017
Richard Webster & Daniel Uribe

You went all the way to Colombia to see a Grackle?  Yes, and much, much more.  The Red-bellied Grackle is one of the most distinctive endemics, occuring in flocks in forested areas, and is a lovely bird with an interesting voice.  We enjoyed excellent views in a suburb of Medellin!  Photo by guide Richard Webster.

We escaped the temperate north for the tropical south around Medellin, Colombia for nine days of rewarding and fun birding. Starting with Highland Motmots and Colombian Chachalacas near the hotel, we headed east for a morning of birding called “El Palacio,” which is short for El Palacio de los Frijoles, our excellent lunch stop. A lifer or not, everything is “new” for the trip, and there were lifers for everyone there, including White-mantled Barbet and Beautiful Woodpecker.

Our destination was Rio Claro, a private reserve at the base of the wet foothills. We had two days to bird the forest here, and enjoyed many widespread species, such as two big toucans and Crimson-crested Woodpecker, and some obscure rarities, like Antioquia Bristle-Tyrant and Magdalena Antbird. We also enjoyed a quiet evening along the river, waiting for one or two hundred Oilbirds to exit (noisily!) their cave. For variety, we went east of Doradal into the Magdalena Valley in pursuit of the local Northern Screamer, and had good looks at two of them, a bonus Dwarf Cuckoo, and many other additions to the list that come with non-forest habitats.

Having returned to Medellin, the next morning found us in a local park, La Romera, where we enjoyed its most famous avian denizen, the fabulous Red-bellied Grackle, along with Sickle-winged Guan, Black-winged Saltator, and Rufous-naped Greenlet. Late morning found us in the warmth of the lower Cauca Valley, where we had nearly instantaneous Grayish Piculet followed by a long search for Antioquia Wren, at which we did have good looks. Finally! The afternoon produced retinal overload when we visited Jardin’s Andean Cock-of-the-Rock lek, one of the trip’s highlights.

Based in Jardin for two nights, we spent a day on the slopes above in an area known as Las Ventanas. The goal was Yellow-eared Parrot, and with an early morning of great weather aiding our search, we had both numbers and close views of this impressive, endangered parrot. The weather afterward was a little too good (we had remarkably little rain the whole trip, which was pleasant, but cost us some birds at times), but we still managed to find some memorable birds, including Tyrannine Woodcreeper, Rufous Antpitta, Chestnut-crested Cotinga, and a couple of mixed flocks. The next morning was spent on Morro Amarillo above Jardin, where we mostly missed Parker’s Antbird, but saw Whiskered Wren, Hook-billed Kite, Chestnut-capped Brushfinch, and Bronze-winged Parrot.

Our last site was ProAves’ Reserva Natural de las Aves (RNA) Las Tangaras, on the Pacific slope of the Western Andes, in the Department of Choco and biogeographical realm of the montane Choco. We were richly rewarded in clouds forests from 1,400 to 1,800m, which does not mean we did not miss some good birds (one always does)! Among the many highlights were Black-and-gold, Glistening-green, Rufous-throated, and Purplish-mantled tanagers, Black-chinned Mountain-Tanager, Black Solitaire, Club-winged Manakin (displaying), Choco Vireo, an undescribed tapaculo (yes, very gray, but it was a star performer), Velvet-purple Coronet, Orange-breasted Fruiteater, Fulvous-dotted Treerunner, Buffy (Pacific) Tuftedcheek, White-headed and Sooty-headed wrens, Yellow-collared Chlorophonia, Indigo Flowerpiercer, Beautiful Jay, and Blackburnian Warbler. OK, the warbler was not a highlight there because it was a highlight most days of the tour—they are common in winter here, and they are a knockout! One morning was spent at higher elevation at “La M,” where highlights were Munchique Wood-Wren, Tanager Finch, and White-capped Tanager.

We were usually in pursuit of forest on this trip, and that we were able to bird in lovely forests is thanks to the conservation efforts of many governmental entities and NGOs. Using the materials of BirdLife International, we saw 1 Critically Endangered species, 4 Endangered, 8 Vulnerable, and 8 Near Threatened, along with many other scarce and local taxa.

The trip went very smoothly, thanks to the arrangements of Daniel, Eugenia, and Caroline, and several great drivers. And thanks particularly to the staffs at our lodges, Rio Claro and ProAves’ Las Tangaras.

The taxonomy tries to follow the latest Clements’ Checklist (Cornell), with reference to some other lists and sources (IOC, HBW, SACC) and some specific papers. Apologies are due the Spanish language—we avoid many punctuation marks that do not translate well across multiple computer platforms.


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

Tinamidae (Tinamous)
TAWNY-BREASTED TINAMOU (Nothocercus julius) – Unusually vocal (and evidently common) at Las Ventanas above Jardin and at La M above Las Tangaras. As with most tinamous, typically a disembodied voice. [*]
LITTLE TINAMOU (Crypturellus soui) – One heard below El Palacio. [*]
Anhimidae (Screamers)
NORTHERN SCREAMER (Chauna chavaria) – A real bonus, with great views of two east of Doradal, hanging around a stretch of marshy pastures. It is considered "Near Threatened."

Colombian Chachalaca is one of many species we saw our first morning in the valley of the Rio Cocorna, below El Palacio de los Frijoles, our filling lunch spot. Photo by guide Richard Webster.

Cracidae (Guans, Chachalacas, and Curassows)
COLOMBIAN CHACHALACA (Ortalis columbiana) – Our first in rural Rionegro (by the hotel) were followed by more near El Palacio, Rio Claro, and Morro Amarillo, with a few others heard; a good showing. As split from Speckled Chachalaca. [E]
SICKLE-WINGED GUAN (Chamaepetes goudotii) – Daniel spotted a cooperative bird at La Romera; briefer views above Jardin and for one vehicle en route to La M.
Odontophoridae (New World Quail)
CHESTNUT WOOD-QUAIL (Odontophorus hyperythrus) – Heard briefly and distantly at Las Tangaras. It is considered "Near Threatened." [E*]
Phalacrocoracidae (Cormorants and Shags)
NEOTROPIC CORMORANT (Phalacrocorax brasilianus) – Bob and others saw a couple from the moving bus.
Ardeidae (Herons, Egrets, and Bitterns)
RUFESCENT TIGER-HERON (Tigrisoma lineatum) – Sandra spotted one perched in a tree right in front of us near the screamers.
FASCIATED TIGER-HERON (Tigrisoma fasciatum) – Josh spotted a striking adult along the river at Rio Claro as we were walking from the restaurant to our rooms.
GREAT EGRET (Ardea alba) – One near Doradal.
SNOWY EGRET (Egretta thula) – Seen by some from a moving bus.
LITTLE BLUE HERON (Egretta caerulea) – Several adults were in the marshy pastures beyond Doradal.
CATTLE EGRET (Bubulcus ibis) – Daily, never abundant, but a widespread bird in the Andes, occurring in pastures up to moderate elevations.
STRIATED HERON (Butorides striata) – Several, with good views east of Doradal.
Threskiornithidae (Ibises and Spoonbills)
GLOSSY IBIS (Plegadis falcinellus) – Alan saw one from the bus.
BARE-FACED IBIS (Phimosus infuscatus) – Common in pastures beyond Doradal, with a few others scattered along the way.

It is not very often that one of our triplists has a photo of Black Vulture! Of course that is not really the featured item here, is it! It one of the many, many flowering Tabebuia trees that were spectacularly in bloom during our tour. Photo by guide Richard Webster.

Cathartidae (New World Vultures)
BLACK VULTURE (Coragyps atratus) – Common at lower elevations, with a few in higher or wetter areas.
TURKEY VULTURE (Cathartes aura) – Widespread in small numbers, never especially common.
LESSER YELLOW-HEADED VULTURE (Cathartes burrovianus) – Good views of several over the marshy pastures east of Doradal, and Sandra saw one the next day near Rio Claro.
Accipitridae (Hawks, Eagles, and Kites)
HOOK-BILLED KITE (Chondrohierax uncinatus) – Josh spotted one perched in plantations near Morro Amarillo; at medium distance, but some decent views in the telescope.
SWALLOW-TAILED KITE (Elanoides forficatus) – Alan saw one en route from Rio Claro and two were seen circling over the forest at RNA Las Tangaras.
PLUMBEOUS KITE (Ictinia plumbea) – John and a few others saw a soaring bird at Rio Claro.
SAVANNA HAWK (Buteogallus meridionalis) – A couple beyond Doradal, including an interesting juvenile plumage.

Coffee is grown widely in Colombia, but far from everywhere--mostly "in between", at middle elevations of 1200 to 1800m with medium rain, as here on the east side of the Western Andes (none on the really wet west side, or there might not be enough forest for an RNA Las Tangaras). Photo by guide Richard Webster.

ROADSIDE HAWK (Rupornis magnirostris) – Scattered small numbers, from the lowlands to cleared areas at moderate elevations.
BROAD-WINGED HAWK (Buteo platypterus) – Several wintering adults were seen in the Western Andes at RNA Las Tangaras and La M. [b]
Rallidae (Rails, Gallinules, and Coots)
GRAY-COWLED WOOD-RAIL (Aramides cajaneus) – Heard near Doradal. Gray-necked Wood-Rail was recently split, the dividing line being in Costa Rica, with Gray-cowled from there south. [*]
PURPLE GALLINULE (Porphyrio martinicus) – A few of this lovely bird were in marshy spots east of Doradal.
Charadriidae (Plovers and Lapwings)
SOUTHERN LAPWING (Vanellus chilensis) – Daily. This species has undergone a huge expansion in range and numbers as it colonizes pastures. Most memorable (the memories not necessarily fond) were the explosions of calling outside some rooms at the Balandu.
Jacanidae (Jacanas)
WATTLED JACANA (Jacana jacana) – Fairly common in marshy spots beyond Doradal.
Scolopacidae (Sandpipers and Allies)
SPOTTED SANDPIPER (Actitis macularius) – A couple were along the Rio Cocorna below El Palacio, and Alan spotted one along the Rio Atrato. [b]

This Sickle-winged Guan was seen in La Romera, a regional park on the outskirts of Medellin. Photo by guide Richard Webster.

GREATER YELLOWLEGS (Tringa melanoleuca) – A couple were in the marshy spots east of Doradal. [b]
Laridae (Gulls, Terns, and Skimmers)
YELLOW-BILLED TERN (Sternula superciliaris) – Two were seen in flight east of Doradal, perhaps commuting from the Rio Magdalena to good fishing ponds.
Columbidae (Pigeons and Doves)
ROCK PIGEON (Columba livia) – Widespread commensal of man, a.k.a. "feral pigeons." [I]
PALE-VENTED PIGEON (Patagioenas cayennensis) – Common in the lowlands, with a few others along the way.
BAND-TAILED PIGEON (WHITE-NECKED) (Patagioenas fasciata albilinea) – Fairly common in the mountains; this is a resident population.
PLUMBEOUS PIGEON (Patagioenas plumbea chapmani) – Heard daily at RNA Las Tangaras, where a couple were seen, one doing a display flight.
RUDDY GROUND-DOVE (Columbina talpacoti) – Widespread in small numbers in disturbed habitats at lower elevations.
WHITE-TIPPED DOVE (Leptotila verreauxi) – Seen our first morning along the track at El Palacio, with a few more heard at Rio Claro.

Yes, there are White-throated Quail-Doves out there, and a ton of other birds on the Farallones del Citara, taken from RNA Las Tangaras. Some of the birds on our list have poulation estimates from BirdLife, who are extrapolating how many Choco Vireos and Munchique Wood-Wrens are on that ridge based on what they know from places like RNA Las Tangaras, which, no offense, is often not that much. Photo by guide Richard Webster.

WHITE-THROATED QUAIL-DOVE (Zentrygon frenata) – Heard at RNA Las Tangaras. [*]
EARED DOVE (Zenaida auriculata) – A few here and a few there of this replacement for Mourning Dove.
Cuculidae (Cuckoos)
GREATER ANI (Crotophaga major) – A couple of small groups were along the forested Rio Claro and another was by a marshy pond east of Doradal.
SMOOTH-BILLED ANI (Crotophaga ani) – Common in the lowland pastures east of Doradal, with a few others in cleared areas, e.g., the pastures by RNA Las Tangaras.

A vista over an interior basin of the Western Andes. The scenery is one of the pleasures of this tour. Photo by guide Richard Webster.

STRIPED CUCKOO (Tapera naevia) [*]
DWARF CUCKOO (Coccycua pumila) – Josh spotted a distant bird in the marshy areas east of Doradal. It stayed put, and we had good telescope views. Although widespread in Colombia and Venezuela, this is a seldom-seen bird, and was a real bonus.
SQUIRREL CUCKOO (Piaya cayana) – One was at the Antioquia Wren spot.
Strigidae (Owls)
WHITE-THROATED SCREECH-OWL (Megascops albogularis) – We heard a couple of calls at dawn as we watched for the Yellow-eared Parrots; very distant. [*]
CRESTED OWL (Lophostrix cristata) – Heard very well at Rio Claro; perhaps inured to playback. [*]
CLOUD-FOREST PYGMY-OWL (Glaucidium nubicola) – Heard at length, but we only saw a blur traveling between where it had been calling to where it then called, and we could not locate it in a huge tree covered in bromeliads at RNA Las Tangaras. A number of small birds evidently did locate it and mobbed it, but those clues were not enough. It is considered "Vulnerable." [*]

Medellin is an amazing city. We have to cross it twice, hoping a tanker truck has not turned over or traffic is otherwise agonizing, but the scope and beauty of this city is one of the great, pleasant surprises of the tour. Photo by guide Richard Webster.

ANDEAN PYGMY-OWL (Glaucidium jardinii) – Heard briefly at La M, after playback, but it shut up and if it came closer, we did not spot it. [*]
RUFOUS-BANDED OWL (Ciccaba albitarsis) – We heard a distant pair at Las Ventanas for an hour after dawn, acting like Barred Owls calling into the day. [*]
Caprimulgidae (Nightjars and Allies)
BAND-WINGED NIGHTJAR (Systellura longirostris) – Seen twice from a moving jeep at RNA Las Tangaras.
COMMON PAURAQUE (Nyctidromus albicollis) – Heard at Rio Claro as we were doing the list. [*]
Steatornithidae (Oilbird)
OILBIRD (Steatornis caripensis) – It was an excellent show at Rio Claro, as we waited for it to get dark, first hearing an increasing level of growling from inside the cave, then got to watch as increasing numbers emerged, first just exploratory little flights, going back in, but then a steady exodus of birds headed off to feed, perhaps as many as 200. There are a couple of caves here, and this cave is perhaps reliable at this time of year, but Daniel has had very few come out of it before, and other caves require stream crossings to visit.
Apodidae (Swifts)
WHITE-COLLARED SWIFT (Streptoprocne zonaris) – Several small flocks, plus several hundred that descended over the Balandu both afternoons, feeding over the cleared areas in a fairly dramatic show.
GRAY-RUMPED SWIFT (Chaetura cinereiventris) – Seen by Josh the first day.
Trochilidae (Hummingbirds)
WHITE-NECKED JACOBIN (Florisuga mellivora) – One was seen at El Palacio the first day, and others were seen by part of the group at Rio Claro.
RUFOUS-BREASTED HERMIT (Glaucis hirsutus) – Several at Rio Claro, including one that perched regularly just outside the restaurant, providing great views (and photos).
BAND-TAILED BARBTHROAT (Threnetes ruckeri) – At Rio Claro one perched briefly and was seen by about half of the group.
GREEN HERMIT (Phaethornis guy) – Near Jardin, one was seen for a couple of seconds by about a third of the group.
TAWNY-BELLIED HERMIT (Phaethornis syrmatophorus) – Another hurtling hermit, with two seen at RNA Las Tangaras, both by a minority of the group.

The view from our comfortable hotel on the outskirts of Jardin, the Hotel Hacienda Balandu. Photo by guide Richard Webster.

LONG-BILLED HERMIT (Phaethornis longirostris) – Yet another hermit problem, seen once at Rio Claro by part of the group.
STRIPE-THROATED HERMIT (Phaethornis striigularis) – Quick, but better than some of the others--seen by most at Rio Claro. A split of Little Hermit.
GREEN-FRONTED LANCEBILL (Doryfera ludovicae) – Good views of one above Jardin, with another briefly at La M.
LESSER VIOLETEAR (Colibri cyanotus) – One perched bird above Jardin was singing away. Lesser Violetear is a split of Green Violetear, now restricted to Central America.
SPARKLING VIOLETEAR (Colibri coruscans) – One at Las Ventanas and a couple at the pass en route to Las Tangaras.
PURPLE-CROWNED FAIRY (Heliothryx barroti) – Sandra got us on a couple of this lovely hummingbird at Rio Claro.
BLACK-THROATED MANGO (Anthracothorax nigricollis) – Two were seen at El Palacio.
TOURMALINE SUNANGEL (Heliangelus exortis) – Common above Jardin at Las Ventanas, including at the feeders at our breakfast spot, with a few more at La M.

Josh met a friend on the lovely main square at Jardin. Photo by guide Richard Webster.

SPECKLED HUMMINGBIRD (Adelomyia melanogenys) – One was seen by most at La M.
LONG-TAILED SYLPH (Aglaiocercus kingii) – Two were enjoyed above Jardin.
VIOLET-TAILED SYLPH (Aglaiocercus coelestis) – A few were seen at RNA Las Tangaras, where the species was disappointingly scarce at the feeders, as were most of the other local hummingbirds. According to the managers, about two weeks earlier, as a relatively dry, sunny period started, most of the hummingbirds had packed up and ???
TYRIAN METALTAIL (Metallura tyrianthina) – One female at Las Ventanas made a few appearances.
GREENISH PUFFLEG (Haplophaedia aureliae) – A scarce species elsewhere, Greenish Puffleg seems relatively common in Colombia, and we saw a scattering, first at La Romera, then daily at RNA Las Tangaras.
BROWN INCA (Coeligena wilsoni) – Only one of this Choco specialty was seen, hovering above the road at RNA Las Tangaras.
COLLARED INCA (Coeligena torquata) – Multiple sightings at Las Ventanas above Jardin and La M, with especially good views at the feeders at breakfast.
SWORD-BILLED HUMMINGBIRD (Ensifera ensifera) – One made several short appearances at the feeders near Las Ventanas. We wanted more, but what we got was still exciting to see.

A scene from Jardin, right above the Cock-of-the-rock lek and looking toward the Farallones del Citara and hence Las Tangaras. Photo by guide Richard Webster.

BUFF-TAILED CORONET (Boissonneaua flavescens) – Common at Las Ventanas, including at the feeders, where they were bossy.
VELVET-PURPLE CORONET (Boissonneaua jardini) – Fortunately a couple were still regular at the RNA Las Tangaras feeders--this is one of the most beautiful hummingbirds, and we enjoyed the repeated good looks at this Choco specialty.
PURPLE-BIBBED WHITETIP (Urosticte benjamini) – One female was seen at forest edge at RNA Las Tangaras. A Choco specialty.
GREEN-CROWNED BRILLIANT (Heliodoxa jacula) – One immature was seen in the forest at RNA Las Tangaras, mobbing the Cloud-forest Pygmy-Owl we could hear, but not see. This species is unusual at this site.
EMPRESS BRILLIANT (Heliodoxa imperatrix) – Fortunately this Choco specialty was still showing up at the Las Tangaras feeders in small numbers; good looks at females and males of this big Brilliant.
LONG-BILLED STARTHROAT (Heliomaster longirostris) – Good views of one that fed leisurely at a flowering shrub at Rio Claro on both mornings, the opposite experience from most of the hermits that hurtled by.
WHITE-BELLIED WOODSTAR (Chaetocercus mulsant) – Fairly common at Las Ventanas, where we were glad the feeders at breakfast were in operation, as both males and females were in good view most of the time.

Another lovely Tabebuia chrysantha at Morro Amarillo. Photo by guide Richard Webster.

WESTERN EMERALD (Chlorostilbon melanorhynchus melanorhynchus) – One or two were seen at four different sites. This is a split of the greater 'Blue-tailed' Emerald assemblage; Chlorostilbon taxonomy remains in flux, although this one seems somewhat settled.
WHITE-VENTED PLUMELETEER (Chalybura buffonii) – One was seen near El Palacio, followed by several more of this large hummingbird at Rio Claro.
BLUE-CHESTED HUMMINGBIRD (Amazilia amabilis) – Even with several sightings at Rio Claro it was still "briefly for a few."
STEELY-VENTED HUMMINGBIRD (Amazilia saucerottei) – One or two daily at the lodge feeders at RNA Las Tangaras; nice views, but disappointingly few.
RUFOUS-TAILED HUMMINGBIRD (Amazilia tzacatl) – The most widespread hummingbird of lower elevations.
Trogonidae (Trogons)
GOLDEN-HEADED QUETZAL (Pharomachrus auriceps) – One that perched briefly above Jardin was seen by perhaps a third of us; otherwise heard. Quetzals seem ever more difficult on tour routes, perhaps reflecting the impact of tours (like ours) trying to see quetzals.
CRESTED QUETZAL (Pharomachrus antisianus) – Heard as we sat at the RNA Las Tangaras feeders, but not seen. [*]
WHITE-TAILED TROGON (Trogon chionurus) – Several were heard at Rio Claro, but surprisingly we never encountered one. The former White-tailed Trogon has been split, with White-tailed still used for those west of the Andes, and Green-backed for those to the east. [*]

The group looking for Gartered Trogon, one of many lowland species that we saw along the little road that enters the private Rio Claro reserve.  Photo by guide Richard Webster.

GARTERED TROGON (Trogon caligatus) – We enjoyed nice views several times at Rio Claro. This is a split of Violaceous, now restricted to the southeast of the Andes, with Gartered (a.k.a. N. Violaceous) northwest of the Andes.
BLACK-THROATED TROGON (Trogon rufus) – The least common trogon at Rio Claro, we were pleased to have excellent looks at a lovely pair.
MASKED TROGON (Trogon personatus assimilis) – Rick got us on one at one at RNA Las Tangaras, where another was seen from a jeep on our last day. Splits will definitely occur in this species (e.g., two subspecies replace each elevationally in the Central Andes); the subspecies assimilis occurs over an unusually wide elevational range in the Western Andes, and how it fits in with the others I do not know.
Momotidae (Motmots)
ANDEAN MOTMOT (Momotus aequatorialis) – This stunning bird was enjoyed at length outside of our Rionegro hotel, followed by regular sightings at La Romera, Morro Amarillo, and RNA Las Tangaras. As split from Blue-crowned Motmot; a.k.a. Highland Motmot.
RUFOUS MOTMOT (Baryphthengus martii) – Rio Claro; heard several times in the early morning, but always distantly. [*]
BROAD-BILLED MOTMOT (Electron platyrhynchum) – Ditto. [*]
Alcedinidae (Kingfishers)
RINGED KINGFISHER (Megaceryle torquata) – One was seen by a few flying up the stream at Quebrada Vaio.
GREEN KINGFISHER (Chloroceryle americana) – A couple of sightings: Rio Claro and the Rio Cocorna below El Palacio.
Bucconidae (Puffbirds)
BARRED PUFFBIRD (Nystalus radiatus) – This species is widespread west of the Andes, but not often seen; we had good views of a responsive pair at Rio Claro.
WHITE-WHISKERED PUFFBIRD (Malacoptila panamensis) – Another good puffbird find at Rio Claro; nice views of one.
Galbulidae (Jacamars)
RUFOUS-TAILED JACAMAR (Galbula ruficauda) – We enjoyed a pair at Rio Claro.

White-mantled Barbet is an endemic, and not always an easy one, but we saw a number, perhaps in part thanks to many fruiting cecropia trees. Photo by guide Richard Webster.

Capitonidae (New World Barbets)
WHITE-MANTLED BARBET (Capito hypoleucus) – We did well with this endemic at El Palacio, where we had repeated encounters and very good views, thanks in part to fruiting cecropia trees, with a couple more in the Rio Claro area. It is considered "Vulnerable," with a population of between 1,500 and 7,000. [E]
RED-HEADED BARBET (Eubucco bourcierii) – A regular sighting on this trip, first below El Palacio, then at La Romera, where Rick got us on a beauty, and again at RNA Las Tangaras, where the purring call was regularly heard.
Semnornithidae (Toucan-Barbets)
TOUCAN BARBET (Semnornis ramphastinus) – This monotypic family was heard regularly at RNA Las Tangaras (what an amazing chorus they can put on!), and we worked at getting a good view of this striking bird, a Choco specialty. It is considered "Near Threatened."
Ramphastidae (Toucans)
EMERALD TOUCANET (Aulacorhynchus prasinus) – After hearing it at La Romera, we had nice views above Jardin and at RNA Las Tangaras. These are the subspecies phaeolaemus and griseigularis; the taxonomy of Emerald Toucanet is in flux, and if there are splits, these most likely end up in A. albivitta, White-throated Toucanet (e.g., IOC list).
CRIMSON-RUMPED TOUCANET (Aulacorhynchus haematopygus) – Quick views for part of the group of one at RNA Las Tangaras.
BLACK-BILLED MOUNTAIN-TOUCAN (Andigena nigrirostris) – A disappointment that it was heard only above Jardin, and none at La M. [*]

A male Swallow Tanager in the foothills of the Central Andes. Photo by guide Richard Webster.

COLLARED ARACARI (Pteroglossus torquatus) – A few were seen at Rio Claro.
YELLOW-THROATED TOUCAN (CHESTNUT-MANDIBLED) (Ramphastos ambiguus swainsonii) – At Rio Claro, heard during lunch the first day, and seen near our rooms the next morning; widespread, but these amazing birds are always fun. It is considered "Near Threatened."
CHANNEL-BILLED TOUCAN (Ramphastos vitellinus) – One was seen from our breakfast table at Rio Claro. It is considered "Vulnerable."
Picidae (Woodpeckers)
OLIVACEOUS PICULET (Picumnus olivaceus) – One was seen at El Palacio and another was at Rio Claro.

Grayish Piculet peering out; it had come closer, but . . . . Photo by guide Richard Webster.

GRAYISH PICULET (Picumnus granadensis) – Good views of two in the Cauca Valley at Quebrada Sinifona, briefly almost in our faces. This endemic has a curious distribution, seemingly parapatric with Olivaceous, Grayish preferring drier habitats of the Cauca Valley. [E]
ACORN WOODPECKER (ACORN) (Melanerpes formicivorus flavigula) – Sandra and Alan saw them on the grounds of the Hotel Hacienda Balandu, and we saw a pair nearby on the slopes of Morro Amarillo. Note this southernmost subspecies: Splits have been proposed in Acorn Woodpecker.

Beautiful Woodpecker was a prize near El Palacio. Photo by guide Richard Webster.

BEAUTIFUL WOODPECKER (Melanerpes pulcher) – The woodpeckers were not being cooperative, but then one was, and Rick spotted its silent approach right in front of us--great views before hurtling off again. One does not wish to miss a species called "Beautiful," and they are beautiful, but just beautiful variations on a theme--this bird has variously been lumped and split with Golden-naped of Panama and Costa Rica. [E]
RED-CROWNED WOODPECKER (Melanerpes rubricapillus) – Nearly daily; widespread at lower elevations, often in disturbed areas.
SMOKY-BROWN WOODPECKER (Picoides fumigatus) [*]
RED-RUMPED WOODPECKER (Veniliornis kirkii) – Seen twice at Rio Claro, eventually for all.
YELLOW-VENTED WOODPECKER (Veniliornis dignus) – Our first was above Jardin, missed by many, but a series of sightings thanks to Sandra and John provided better and better looks at RNA Las Tangaras. This species is scarce in Peru and Ecuador, but seems more common in Colombia.
GOLDEN-OLIVE WOODPECKER (Colaptes rubiginosus) – Usually more conspicuous. [*]

Spot-breasted Woodpecker came just before Beautiful Woodpecker, and while a much less range-restricted species, it was just as beautiful. Photo by guide Richard Webster.

SPOT-BREASTED WOODPECKER (Colaptes punctigula) – We were looking for the Beautiful Woodpecker that we had heard, and there was a woodpecker, but it was the "wrong" woodpecker, merely a lovely Spot-breasted!
CINNAMON WOODPECKER (Celeus loricatus) – Responsive at Rio Claro--good views of this very cinnamon, small Celeus.
LINEATED WOODPECKER (Dryocopus lineatus) – It was a busy morning at Morro Amarillo, but most did get on this large woodpecker.
CRIMSON-CRESTED WOODPECKER (Campephilus melanoleucos) – These big woodpeckers are stunning, as enjoyed (a pair) at Rio Claro.
Falconidae (Falcons and Caracaras)
COLLARED FOREST-FALCON (Micrastur semitorquatus) – A distant bird was audible at La Romera. [*]
CRESTED CARACARA (Caracara cheriway) – A few fly-bys.
YELLOW-HEADED CARACARA (Milvago chimachima chimachima) – A couple in pastures east of Doradal; seen again from the bus.
LAUGHING FALCON (Herpetotheres cachinnans) – Heard distantly at Rio Claro and Morro Amarillo. [*]
AMERICAN KESTREL (Falco sparverius) – Several in open country, e.g., on the wires above the lodge at Las Tangaras.
Psittacidae (New World and African Parrots)
ORANGE-CHINNED PARAKEET (Brotogeris jugularis) – Two were perched briefly near El Palacio.
SPECKLE-FACED PARROT (Pionus tumultuosus) – One or two were seen in flight at Las Ventanas and La M; this is the high elevation Pionus.
BLUE-HEADED PARROT (Pionus menstruus) – One was in the pastureland east of Doradal.
BRONZE-WINGED PARROT (Pionus chalcopterus) – Some saw this bird in flight above the Cock-of-the-Rock lek, and we all had good views, perched and in flight (when most striking) on the slopes of Morro Amarillo.
SPECTACLED PARROTLET (Forpus conspicillatus) – Small numbers at lower elevations, first seen well at El Palacio our first morning.
CHESTNUT-FRONTED MACAW (Ara severus) – One silent bird flying over our juice stop near Rio Claro.

Yellow-eared Parrot, 56 of them or thereabouts, rising above a feeding area above Jardin, after a good weather morning, closer encounter at Las Ventanas. Photo by guide Richard Webster.

YELLOW-EARED PARROT (Ognorhynchus icterotis) – One of the highlights of the tour was our good-weather experience with numbers of this rare bird. This started at Las Ventanas, where we watched flocks heading off, then thrilled at the close approach of two birds that landed briefly nearby several times and inspected distant nest holes. We then enjoyed flocks, one of 56, that were moving around foraging areas farther down the slope. It is considered "Endangered," with a population of around 1400 (only about 200 breeding adults).
Thamnophilidae (Typical Antbirds)
RUFOUS-RUMPED ANTWREN (Euchrepomis callinota) – Good views at RNA Las Tangaras, where pairs of this arboreal antwren were with a couple of flocks; views even included rufous rumps for some.
BAR-CRESTED ANTSHRIKE (Thamnophilus multistriatus) – We had good views of two near El Palacio, and heard several more. Not quite an endemic (barely into Venezuela), it is generally a lifer in Colombia.
BLACK-CROWNED ANTSHRIKE (Thamnophilus atrinucha) – After a couple of attempts, we did manage to see singing birds at Rio Claro. This west-of-the-Andes taxon has been split from the various "slaty-antshrikes" (genetically not even closely related); f.k.a. Western Slaty-Antshrike.
UNIFORM ANTSHRIKE (Thamnophilus unicolor) – We had a number of brief views of a responsive, furtive pair at RNA Las Tangaras, and heard another.
PACIFIC ANTWREN (Myrmotherula pacifica) – Heard several times in the wet foothills of the Rio Claro area, and then we had a good look at a male well out in the open.
YELLOW-BREASTED ANTWREN (Herpsilochmus axillaris) – As with Rufous-rumped, an arboreal bird of canopy flocks: Good views twice at RNA Las Tangaras. It is considered "Vulnerable."
WHITE-FRINGED ANTWREN (NORTHERN) (Formicivora grisea hondae) – We saw one bird, overhead in response to playback, in a patch of woodland beyond Doradal. This group is increasingly being split, so note the subspecies, which is one of the Northern group.

Birding from the deck off the dining area at RNA Las Tangaras. Photo by guide Richard Webster.

PARKER'S ANTBIRD (Cercomacroides parkeri) – We heard two pairs on opposite sides of the road, but struggled to see them. Some folks had glimpses, but this was not a good visual experience for anyone, and a heard-only for most. [E]
CHESTNUT-BACKED ANTBIRD (Poliocrania exsul) – After hearing a number, we worked at seeing one, and had good views in the understory at Rio Claro. The genus Myrmeciza was recently evaluated genetically, and has turning into about six genera, the new name showing on this list.
MAGDALENA ANTBIRD (Sipia palliata) – Another Myrmeciza that has been re-assigned. This near-endemic (also in western Venezuela) was seen very well in the understory at Rio Claro. This is a split of Dull-mantled Antbird (now Central America only).
Grallariidae (Antpittas)
UNDULATED ANTPITTA (Grallaria squamigera) – Several were heard singing strongly at Las Ventanas, but were well away from the road and any serious attempt to see them. [*]
PLAIN-BACKED ANTPITTA (Grallaria haplonota) – One was heard well upslope at RNA Las Tangaras. [*]
CHESTNUT-NAPED ANTPITTA (Grallaria nuchalis) – Heard off in the forest at Las Ventanas and La M; quite vocal, but not much opportunity to do anything about them. [*]

A lovely little cascade along the trail at RNA Las Tangaras. Photo by guide Richard Webster.

YELLOW-BREASTED ANTPITTA (Grallaria flavotincta) – Ditto, at RNA Las Tangaras. [*]
RUFOUS ANTPITTA (Grallaria rufula) – We had a wonderful view of a very responsive bird that approached closely below Las Ventanas. Rufous Antpitta will be split in about eight ways. This population at the northern end of the Western Andes does not have a subspecific name; it is geographically closest to the nominate of the Central Andes.
SLATE-CROWNED ANTPITTA (Grallaricula nana) – Vocal at Las Ventanas and La M. [*]
Rhinocryptidae (Tapaculos)
OCELLATED TAPACULO (Acropternis orthonyx) – Heard at Las Ventanas above Jardin, but not responsive. [*]
BLACKISH TAPACULO (Scytalopus latrans) – Several were heard at Las Ventanas, but none were immediately responsive. [*]
TAPACULO (NEW SPECIES) (Scytalopus sp. nov. 1) – We had a tough time with tapaculos, but this one was a star! Known informally as 'Alto de Pisones' Tapaculo (for a site rich in montane Choco species), it is expected to be described in 2017. We enjoyed several views at RNA Las Tangaras as it moved around a mossy bank and moved out onto some exposed branches. [E]
STILES'S TAPACULO (Scytalopus stilesi) – Heard briefly and completely unresponsive at La Romera. [E*]
NARI–O TAPACULO (Scytalopus vicinior) – Heard on two days at RNA Las Tangaras, but the couple that were close were not seen. [*]
SPILLMANN'S TAPACULO (Scytalopus spillmanni) – Seen briefly by some above Jardin and to varying degrees by all at La M.
Furnariidae (Ovenbirds and Woodcreepers)
TYRANNINE WOODCREEPER (Dendrocincla tyrannina) – This uncommon, highland woodcreeper was unusually vocal on this trip, with several heard. One was quite responsive at Las Ventanas, and another was seen in flight at La M. A bonus.
WEDGE-BILLED WOODCREEPER (Glyphorynchus spirurus) – One at Rio Claro was seen briefly by a few.
COCOA WOODCREEPER (Xiphorhynchus susurrans) – Quite common by voice at Rio Claro, but strangely unresponsive (normally much more so, or seen without playback). A split of Buff-throated Woodcreeper. [*]
OLIVE-BACKED WOODCREEPER (Xiphorhynchus triangularis) – One with a flock at RNA Las Tangaras (usually a few more).
STRAIGHT-BILLED WOODCREEPER (Dendroplex picus) – Good views of one in a patch of woodland in marshy country near Doradal.
STREAK-HEADED WOODCREEPER (Lepidocolaptes souleyetii) – The most common woodcreeper in the Rio Claro area.
MONTANE WOODCREEPER (Lepidocolaptes lacrymiger) – As the name suggests, a montane species above the level of its congener, Streak-headed. We saw several above Jardin and a couple more at RNA Las Tangaras.

The town of El Carmen de Atrato, through which we passed to reach the forested ridge known as La M. Photo by guide Richard Webster.

PLAIN XENOPS (Xenops minutus) – Rick had one our first morning at El Palacio, and one was with a canopy flock at Rio Claro.
BUFFY TUFTEDCHEEK (PACIFIC) (Pseudocolaptes lawrencii johnsoni) – It took a while, but we eventually found a couple with a flock, and had good looks at this distinctive bird. This form is split in some lists, and is a Choco specialty.
STREAKED TUFTEDCHEEK (Pseudocolaptes boissonneautii) – One or two were with our best flock below Las Ventanas, but views were brief for many.
PALE-LEGGED HORNERO (CARIBBEAN) (Furnarius leucopus endoecus) – We had good views of one walking around the edge of a marshy pond during our 'juice stop' near Rio Claro. Pale-legged is split into two or three species by various lists. This subspecies is part of the Caribbean/longirostris group.
BUFF-FRONTED FOLIAGE-GLEANER (Philydor rufum) – At RNA Las Tangaras, we had a couple of birds that overshot repeatedly, but we ended up with a more temperate bird that provided good views.
SCALY-THROATED FOLIAGE-GLEANER (Anabacerthia variegaticeps) – A couple were with mixed flocks at RNA Las Tangaras.
LINEATED FOLIAGE-GLEANER (Syndactyla subalaris) – One bird responded nicely at RNA Las Tangaras; another was heard.
UNIFORM TREEHUNTER (Thripadectes ignobilis) – A couple were heard, and one put in a brief appearance for a few at RNA Las Tangaras.
SPOTTED BARBTAIL (Premnoplex brunnescens) – A widespread species, but a furtive, skulking one, so our good views at La Romera were a treat.
FULVOUS-DOTTED TREERUNNER (Margarornis stellatus) – This Choco specialty is one of RNA Las Tangaras' prizes, so it was great the last morning to have a lengthy look at a close bird with a small flock along that lovely trail. It is considered "Near Threatened."

Travel in the Andes is not always smooth. It was for us, and it usually is, but things do happen, as you can see from the sign and the scar. Photo by guide Richard Webster.

PEARLED TREERUNNER (Margarornis squamiger) – With flocks in the upper montane forest; several between Las Ventanas above Jardin and La M.
RED-FACED SPINETAIL (Cranioleuca erythrops) – Several sightings at RNA Las Tangaras, our first (and best) coming in the small patch right by the lodge itself.
YELLOW-CHINNED SPINETAIL (Certhiaxis cinnamomeus) – Amazingly responsive near Doradal, crossing the street and climbing into the trees; even little yellow chins were seen, in the telescope for some!
AZARA'S SPINETAIL (Synallaxis azarae) – Seen above Jardin and again at RNA Las Tangaras, with more heard daily in highland scrub.
PALE-BREASTED SPINETAIL (Synallaxis albescens) – One very responsive bird at El Palacio came in high after the guide had said it would come in low!
RUFOUS SPINETAIL (Synallaxis unirufa) – One responsive bird at La M.
Tyrannidae (Tyrant Flycatchers)
SOUTHERN BEARDLESS-TYRANNULET (Camptostoma obsoletum) – One at Morro Amarillo.
WHITE-TAILED TYRANNULET (Mecocerculus poecilocercus) – One active bird was with our largest flock below Las Ventanas.
YELLOW-CROWNED TYRANNULET (Tyrannulus elatus) – We had heard Sooty-headed at El Palacio and were looking for it, and when this bird popped up . . . it took a moment to get it right! Great views at close range.
FOREST ELAENIA (Myiopagis gaimardii) – Good views of one at Rio Claro, where several more were heard.
GREENISH ELAENIA (Myiopagis viridicata) – Common, even in the heat of the late morning, at Quebrada Sinifona.
YELLOW-BELLIED ELAENIA (Elaenia flavogaster) – Heard and seen regularly at lower elevations, ranging higher in disturbed areas.
MOUNTAIN ELAENIA (Elaenia frantzii) – Our first were in Rionegro right at the start, followed by more in secondary growth elsewhere in the highlands.

The lovely Rio Claro and the preserved forests along it. Photo by guide Richard Webster.

TORRENT TYRANNULET (Serpophaga cinerea) – Sandra spotted a pair along the river at the Las Tangaras lodge our first afternoon.
STREAK-NECKED FLYCATCHER (Mionectes striaticollis) – Several were seen, always rather briefly, above Jardin and at RNA Las Tangaras.
SEPIA-CAPPED FLYCATCHER (Leptopogon amaurocephalus) – One at Rio Claro was pleasantly easy to see for a bird that is often inside the forest.
SLATY-CAPPED FLYCATCHER (Leptopogon superciliaris) – One was seen near El Palacio.
VARIEGATED BRISTLE-TYRANT (Phylloscartes poecilotis) – One with a forest flock along the trail at RNA Las Tangaras was seen by just a couple of folks.
MARBLE-FACED BRISTLE-TYRANT (Phylloscartes ophthalmicus) – Same area, but it was seen on several occasions for good looks.
ANTIOQUIA BRISTLE-TYRANT (Phylloscartes lanyoni) – "Lengthy views for all" sounds great, and it was true, but there was a major catch--they were in the canopy at a neck-breaking angle! Still, a decent sighting at Rio Claro of a seldom-seen bird. It is considered "Endangered," with a population of 600 to 1,700. [E]
SOOTY-HEADED TYRANNULET (Phyllomyias griseiceps) – The day after the Yellow-crowned Tyrannulet popped up, we saw the real Sooty-headed Tyrannulet well at Rio Claro, with another sighting at Quebrada Sinifona.
BLACK-CAPPED TYRANNULET (Phyllomyias nigrocapillus) – Some good views with flocks at Las Ventanas above Jardin and at La M.
GOLDEN-FACED TYRANNULET (GOLDEN-FACED) (Zimmerius chrysops chrysops) – Seen or heard on a majority of days; a common bird over a wide range of elevation. Many taxonomic problems exist in the wide range of this species. Officially, we did not see Choco Tyrannulet of the southern Choco, but the birds we had in the Western Andes might be part of it. In any event, keep track of where you saw this bird, 'cause it might be relevant to your life list down the road.

One of our beautiful dawns from RNA Las Tangaras, looking out to the Farallones del Citara. Photo by guide Richard Webster.

ORNATE FLYCATCHER (Myiotriccus ornatus) – This handsome flycatcher was seen twice at RNA Las Tangaras.
RUFOUS-HEADED PYGMY-TYRANT (Pseudotriccus ruficeps) – We had good views of a responsive bird in the understory of forest at La M.
BLACK-CAPPED PYGMY-TYRANT (Myiornis atricapillus) – Sandra spotted one at Rio Claro, and we had good looks at this tiny bird because it was not in the mid-levels or higher, like they can be.
BLACK-THROATED TODY-TYRANT (Hemitriccus granadensis) – Seen twice in forest at La M; good views.
RUFOUS-CROWNED TODY-FLYCATCHER (Poecilotriccus ruficeps) – One of the prettier small flycatchers; a nice study of one above Jardin.
SLATE-HEADED TODY-FLYCATCHER (Poecilotriccus sylvia) – Another attractive small flycatcher, one that performed well for us in a woodland patch east of Doradal.
COMMON TODY-FLYCATCHER (Todirostrum cinereum) – Widespread and relatively easy to see. Most fun was an eye-level nest at Rio Claro that was frequently visited by the pair. [N]
BLACK-HEADED TODY-FLYCATCHER (Todirostrum nigriceps) – The dread Tody-Monster! A bird of the canopy, they are not usually this difficult, but this tour we simply could not get one into even bad view.
OLIVACEOUS FLATBILL (Rhynchocyclus olivaceus) – Seen in two spots at Rio Claro, one involving a nest that the birds were attending 6-7 February, but also seemed to be of even greater interest to the euphonias (were they raiding it for material?). [N]
YELLOW-OLIVE FLYCATCHER (Tolmomyias sulphurescens) – Once at Rio Claro and once at Quebrada Sinifona. T. s. asemus; keep track of where you see this multi-species complex. a.k.a. Yellow-olive Flatbill.
YELLOW-MARGINED FLYCATCHER (Tolmomyias assimilis) – Seen (and heard) at Rio Claro. T. a. flavotectus. Tolmomyias are increasing called Flatbill rather than Flycatcher. [N]
CINNAMON FLYCATCHER (Pyrrhomyias cinnamomeus) – Good Deal! A tame, easy-to-identify flycatcher! Seen below Las Ventanas and at RNA Las Tangaras.
HANDSOME FLYCATCHER (Nephelomyias pulcher) – This ornate little flycatcher was fairly common in small groups, often with mixed flocks, at RNA Las Tangaras. N. p. pulcher. Formerly in Myiophobus.

How long until you spotted the bird? A White-mantled Barbet blends in as it visits cecropia fruit amidst all the fine patterns on the cecropia leaves. Photo by guide Richard Webster.

BRAN-COLORED FLYCATCHER (Myiophobus fasciatus) – A couple were along our track near El Palacio.
OLIVE-SIDED FLYCATCHER (Contopus cooperi) – One very distant bird on a high, exposed perch at Morro Amarillo. Perhaps mercifully, it flew before everyone had to squint at it. It is considered "Near Threatened." [b]
SMOKE-COLORED PEWEE (Contopus fumigatus) – A couple below Las Ventanas were followed by a few at RNA Las Tangaras.

They must not be looking at a Choco Vireo, because their necks are not tilted far enough back, and perhaps it is "just" an Acadian Flycatcher or John would be more engaged . . . . We did have a good time! Photo by guide Richard Webster.

ACADIAN FLYCATCHER (Empidonax virescens) – Almost daily, mostly heard, but seen a few times. They were inside forest, often at mid-level. [b]
WILLOW FLYCATCHER (Empidonax traillii) – One at woodland/pasture edge east of Doradal called and sang a little in response to playback, and another that "looked right" for this species was at Quebrada Sinifona. [b]
BLACK PHOEBE (Sayornis nigricans) – Almost daily along Andean streams down to the edge of the lowlands. One in front of the Oilbird cave was at a memorable location.
VERMILION FLYCATCHER (Pyrocephalus rubinus) – Josh saw one from the bus near the Rio Cauca.
STREAK-THROATED BUSH-TYRANT (Myiotheretes striaticollis) – A pair was around the ranch house where we had breakfast near Las Ventanas.
PIED WATER-TYRANT (Fluvicola pica) – One was around a small pond in ranch country east of Doradal.
WHITE-HEADED MARSH TYRANT (Arundinicola leucocephala) – A half dozen were on fence lines etc. in ranch country east of Doradal.
YELLOW-BELLIED CHAT-TYRANT (Ochthoeca diadema) – Heard near Las Ventanas, and Rick got us on one at La M that was to be prelude to the Tanager Finches.
RUFOUS-BREASTED CHAT-TYRANT (Ochthoeca rufipectoralis) – Nice views of one in shrubbery at our Yellow-eared Parrot vantage point.
LONG-TAILED TYRANT (Colonia colonus) – Josh spotted our first near El Palacio, and we had a couple along a trail at Rio Claro.
CATTLE TYRANT (Machetornis rixosa) – Mostly a bird of hotel grounds (Rionegro, Sabaneta, Jardin), though there are plenty out in the pastures of Colombia!
BRIGHT-RUMPED ATTILA (Attila spadiceus) – Although often heard, this widespread bird is not always easy to see, except on this tour! John spotted one from our lunch table at Rio Claro, and we had another in the telescope the next day. Great views!

Our hotels were quite varied, with the comfortable and fascinatingly decorated La Extremadura just minutes from the possibility of Red-bellied Grackles. Photo by guide Richard Webster.

PALE-EDGED FLYCATCHER (Myiarchus cephalotes) – Several good studies of this montane Myiarchus, first around Las Ventanas above Jardin, then at RNA Las Tangaras.
GREAT CRESTED FLYCATCHER (Myiarchus crinitus) – Seen and heard in forest at Rio Claro, near the southern end of its wintering range. [b]
LESSER KISKADEE (Pitangus lictor) – One was along the edge of the pond at our 'juice stop' near Rio Claro.
GREAT KISKADEE (Pitangus sulphuratus) – Almost daily, occurring in cleared areas half way up into the Andes.
BOAT-BILLED FLYCATCHER (Megarynchus pitangua) – Four were seen our first morning near El Palacio.
RUSTY-MARGINED FLYCATCHER (Myiozetetes cayanensis) – Regularly seen in cleared and disturbed areas on the lower half of the slopes.
SOCIAL FLYCATCHER (Myiozetetes similis) – A couple were in the foothills of the Magdalena Valley.
GOLDEN-CROWNED FLYCATCHER (Myiodynastes chrysocephalus) – Two were seen at La Romera, right around wonderful-grackle time.
STREAKED FLYCATCHER (Myiodynastes maculatus) – Several sightings provided good views at El Palacio and Rio Claro.
PIRATIC FLYCATCHER (Legatus leucophaius) – Another flycatcher we found regularly in the El Palacio-Rio Claro section of the tour.
TROPICAL KINGBIRD (Tyrannus melancholicus) – Daily, occurring well up into the Andes in cleared areas.
FORK-TAILED FLYCATCHER (Tyrannus savana) – A couple were in pastures beyond Doradal, and Alan and Sandra saw it on the grounds of the Balandu in Jardin.
Cotingidae (Cotingas)
GREEN-AND-BLACK FRUITEATER (Pipreola riefferii) – Fruiteaters were proving tough (as they often do) (or am I losing my high-range hearing??), but we finally ran into this bird at La M, and saw both female and male well.
ORANGE-BREASTED FRUITEATER (Pipreola jucunda) – Another save along the trail late the last morning, and it was a great treat to have a pair sitting patiently in the low canopy. Telescope views!!
RED-CRESTED COTINGA (Ampelion rubrocristatus) – Josh and others got on one near Las Ventanas; it departed about the time the telescopes were brought to bear.
CHESTNUT-CRESTED COTINGA (Ampelion rufaxilla) – A major highlight! This species is uncommon in general, and especially rare and local in Colombia. Ours was at a well-known spot, but far from assured, so having lengthy, good views above Jardin was special.

Andean Cock-of-the-rock is widespread in the Andes, and there are a number of leks that can be visited, but the one at Jardin is hard to beat for ease and proximity to these spectacular birds. How many Cock-of-the-rock photos are too many? Perhaps we will find out! Photo by guide Richard Webster, who, like you, has many, many more!

ANDEAN COCK-OF-THE-ROCK (Rupicola peruvianus) – It still seems amazing to park on a city street (Jardin) and walk a few blocks to such a wonderful lek, and it is great that it seems to well protected and managed by the owners. We enjoyed a late afternoon show of males practicing their stuff (no females). How many photographs of Cocks-of-the-Rock are too many? We shall see!
Pipridae (Manakins)
GOLDEN-WINGED MANAKIN (Masius chrysopterus) – Howard had a male at RNA Las Tangaras, some other apparently saw a female, and we heard one or two of this montane manakin.
BLUE-CROWNED MANAKIN (Lepidothrix coronata) – At least three at Rio Claro, all the bright green females (or young) I believe.
WHITE-BEARDED MANAKIN (Manacus manacus) – A series of sightings at El Palacio and Rio Claro, mostly of females, but also at least one male.
CLUB-WINGED MANAKIN (Machaeropterus deliciosus) – One of the behavioral highlights was watching a displaying bird that had moved downhill in response to playback. A striking Choco specialty with some great dance moves accompanied by strange-to-us sounds.

The trailhead parking area, bird rich in itself, at RNA Las Tangaras. Photo by guide Richard Webster.

STRIPED MANAKIN (WESTERN) (Machaeropterus regulus striolatus) – Persistence produced views of a male on a ridge above Rio Claro, and several more were seen at Rio Claro, though often quickly/briefly, as is often the case with this family.
WING-BARRED PIPRITES (Piprites chloris) – After hearing one, we managed OK views of it at Rio Claro. This genus remains something of a taxonomic puzzle. Usually placed at the edge of the manakins, a couple of genetic studies have put the three species in the tyrant flycatchers or as a family (Pipritidae) near the tyrant flycatchers.
Tityridae (Tityras and Allies)
BLACK-CROWNED TITYRA (Tityra inquisitor) – A pair was seen at Rio Claro.
MASKED TITYRA (Tityra semifasciata) – A couple of sightings for parts of the group, first at Rio Claro and again at RNA Las Tangaras.
BARRED BECARD (Pachyramphus versicolor) – The highest elevation becard was seen around Las Ventanas above Jardin and again at La M.
CINEREOUS BECARD (Pachyramphus rufus) – A pair with a nest near El Palacio on 5 February provided good views, and one more was seen at Quebrada Sinifona. [N]
CINNAMON BECARD (Pachyramphus cinnamomeus) – Common by voice at Rio Claro, with regular sightings.

White-winged Becard is common by voice in the montane forests of Colombia, seemingly filling the niche of Black-and-white Becard in these areas. Photo by guide Richard Webster.

WHITE-WINGED BECARD (Pachyramphus polychopterus) – Great views at La Romera, with a few more at Morro Amarillo and RNA Las Tangaras. These montane populations (P. p. cinereiventris and P. p. dorsalis) seem like a different animal from lowland birds.
ONE-COLORED BECARD (Pachyramphus homochrous) – A pair had a nest over the road at Rio Claro on 6 February. [N]
Vireonidae (Vireos, Shrike-Babblers, and Erpornis)
RUFOUS-BROWED PEPPERSHRIKE (Cyclarhis gujanensis) – Two were seen in woodland east of Doradal during our screamer afternoon.
BLACK-BILLED PEPPERSHRIKE (Cyclarhis nigrirostris) – Our first good views were below Las Ventanas, with a couple more sightings at La M and RNA Las Tangaras. Often heard singing in the forest canopy, it is not always easy to see them.
SCRUB GREENLET (Hylophilus flavipes) – As the name suggests, not a forest bird! Seen near El Palacio and heard beyond Doradal.
RUFOUS-NAPED GREENLET (Pachysylvia semibrunnea) – We had fairly good views of a couple in the canopy at La Romera, where fortunately some of the canopy is not straight overhead. Not an endemic, but local and seldom seen in adjoining countries.
CHOCO VIREO (Vireo masteri) – Another typical performance, but at least we had a performance! Seen twice at RNA Las Tangaras. As one of you joked after the first time, it looked small enough to get through a mist net! The second time was actually much better, but it was still a small bird in the canopy of that gorgeous forest. A recently-discovered species restricted to the montane Choco of Colombia and Ecuador, it is considered "Endangered," with a population of about 15,000.
BROWN-CAPPED VIREO (Vireo leucophrys) – Seen above Jardin, with others heard at La Romera and Morro Amarillo. The southern replacement of Warbling Vireo (Mexico south).
RED-EYED VIREO (Vireo olivaceus) – A couple at Quebrada Sinifona looked like local breeders rather than boreal migrants ("Chivi" Vireo).

The forests of the montane Choco at RNA Las Tangaras, where we saw Beautiful Jay and had a backdrop of the Farallones del Citara. Photo by guide Richard Webster.

Corvidae (Crows, Jays, and Magpies)
BEAUTIFUL JAY (Cyanolyca pulchra) – Good views for all at RNA Las Tangaras, seen twice when we were split up. This distinctive jay is a specialty of the Choco. We were 0 for Jays after five days, but ended up with three of the four. It is considered "Near Threatened."
BLACK-CHESTED JAY (Cyanocorax affinis) – A group was across a small valley from us on Morro Amarillo, one of the reasons not everyone looked at the Lineated Woodpecker!
GREEN JAY (Cyanocorax yncas) – John spotted them on Morro Amarillo. Birds in South America are sometimes split as Inca Jay.
Hirundinidae (Swallows)
BLUE-AND-WHITE SWALLOW (Pygochelidon cyanoleuca) – Small numbers at many spots in the Andes.
SOUTHERN ROUGH-WINGED SWALLOW (Stelgidopteryx ruficollis) – Daily in small numbers.
GRAY-BREASTED MARTIN (Progne chalybea) – A couple were near El Palacio and a dozen or so in the lowlands east of Doradal.
WHITE-WINGED SWALLOW (Tachycineta albiventer) – Several were coursing over the marshy pastures near the Screamers.
BARN SWALLOW (Hirundo rustica) – Around 10 were flying north, presumably migrating, at the Screamer spot. [b]
Troglodytidae (Wrens)
SCALY-BREASTED WREN (Microcerculus marginatus) – Rio Claro. a.k.a. Nightingale-Wren. [*]
HOUSE WREN (SOUTHERN) (Troglodytes aedon musculus) – Widespread in small numbers in disturbed areas.
MOUNTAIN WREN (Troglodytes solstitialis) – One with a flock at RNA Las Tangaras was seen by a few folks.
WHITE-HEADED WREN (Campylorhynchus albobrunneus) – One or two groups were around the pasture with palms at RNA Las Tangaras, the "usual spot," but not the guaranteed spot! Good views of this striking species, which occurs only in Panama and Colombia.
BAND-BACKED WREN (Campylorhynchus zonatus) – Heard a couple of times at Rio Claro, where we eventually saw one in the canopy.
BICOLORED WREN (Campylorhynchus griseus) – This striking species was seen at close range along the road east of Doradal.
SOOTY-HEADED WREN (Pheugopedius spadix) – It took several attempts, fishing and trying for birds we heard, but we then found an unusually cooperative bird that sang at length from an obvious perch over the road at RNA Las Tangaras. This skulker has a limited range in Panama and Colombia.
BLACK-BELLIED WREN (Pheugopedius fasciatoventris) – El Palacio and Rio Claro. [*]
WHISKERED WREN (Pheugopedius mystacalis) – This bird was sneaky twice, first seen approaching silently well after playback; eventually seen to varying degrees by all on Morro Amarillo.

Antioquia Wren is a recently-described species, a relative of Rufous-and-white, that took us a long time to find, but not finding it is always a possibility, and a worse one! Photo by guide Richard Webster.

ANTIOQUIA WREN (Thryophilus sernai) – It took a couple of hours, as the clock was ticking down, before we found one, and then it was a while before everyone saw it. But good views! Remarkably, this species was only discovered a decade ago, living right where loads of us birders had driven back and forth! A great find. It is a relative of Rufous-and-white Wren. It is considered "Endangered," population size unknown. [E]
BAY WREN (Cantorchilus nigricapillus) – Common by voice at Rio Claro, and several were seen over time, with good views.
SHARPE'S WREN (Cinnycerthia olivascens) – Heard a couple of times, but no sightings at RNA Las Tangaras. [*]
WHITE-BREASTED WOOD-WREN (Henicorhina leucosticta) – El Palacio. [*]
GRAY-BREASTED WOOD-WREN (Henicorhina leucophrys) – Heard daily in the Andes. We saw the nominate bird at Quebrada Vaio, and H. l. brunneiceps at RNA Las Tangaras.

Munchique Wood-Wren was one of the rarest birds we saw. This one was wonderfully and unusually cooperative, and one of those memorable moments. Photo by guide Richard Webster.

MUNCHIQUE WOOD-WREN (Henicorhina negreti) – Great good fortune on this one--a beautifully singing bird that responded by crossing the road and setting up a short distance away. A very satisfying encounter with this recently-described endemic. It is considered "Critically Endangered," with a population of 250 to 1,000 [the threat seems somewhat less than that, given the use of disturbed slopes, and the population is probably greater, given the difficulty of visiting many areas, but the range is small and the bird is poorly known]. [E]
CHESTNUT-BREASTED WREN (Cyphorhinus thoracicus) – Fabulous song at RNA Las Tangaras. They came part way closer to us, but not nearly close enough. [*]
Polioptilidae (Gnatcatchers)
TROPICAL GNATCATCHER (Polioptila plumbea) – Several were seen in the dry forest of the Cauca Valley at Quebrada Sinifona.
Cinclidae (Dippers)
WHITE-CAPPED DIPPER (Cinclus leucocephalus) – A striking speck in the chasm below us. Well, not quite a chasm, but a deep valley below Las Ventanas.
Donacobiidae (Donacobius)
BLACK-CAPPED DONACOBIUS (Donacobius atricapilla) – We had telescope views of a distant bird out in the marshy pastures near the Screamers. This distinctive bird is now treated as a monotypic family, the Donacobiidae, related to families of Old World warblers.
Turdidae (Thrushes and Allies)
ANDEAN SOLITAIRE (Myadestes ralloides) – Mostly a lovely, distant voice of the Andean forests, with two sightings at RNA Las Tangaras.
ORANGE-BILLED NIGHTINGALE-THRUSH (Catharus aurantiirostris) – Morro Amarillo, where unusually quiet. [*]
SWAINSON'S THRUSH (Catharus ustulatus) – Common at El Palacio, with a few at Rio Claro. [b]
BLACK SOLITAIRE (Entomodestes coracinus) – One of our prizes, first to see it at all, then to see it so well, twice, at RNA Las Tangaras. This striking Choco specialty came in close and stayed long enough to be savored.
PALE-BREASTED THRUSH (Turdus leucomelas) – Fairly common at El Palacio and Rio Claro, where it occurred right around our rooms.
CLAY-COLORED THRUSH (Turdus grayi) – One or two were seen daily around the lodge at RNA Las Tangaras; Colombia is the southern end of its distribution. a.k.a. Clay-colored Robin, as in Texas in some years.
BLACK-BILLED THRUSH (Turdus ignobilis) – Common and widespread. A recent paper (Cerqueira et al. 2016 Molec. Phyl. Evol.) provided convincing reasons to split the montane forms of Colombia and Venezuela from two other groups in Amazonia. We saw T. i. ignobilis and T. i. goodfellowi, both part of the same (nominate) group.

Great Thrush? Nope, another Cock-of-the-rock photo. Do Great Thrushes dream of being Cocks-of-the-rock? Photo by guide Richard Webster.

GREAT THRUSH (Turdus fuscater) – Fairly common at higher elevations of the Andes, especially above Jardin.
Mimidae (Mockingbirds and Thrashers)
TROPICAL MOCKINGBIRD (Mimus gilvus) – Just a few, e.g., ones seen near our Rionegro hotel or that Alan had en route to Jardin.
Parulidae (New World Warblers)
NORTHERN WATERTHRUSH (Parkesia noveboracensis) – Several wintering birds, best seen behind our restaurant by the Rio Cauca. [b]
BLACK-AND-WHITE WARBLER (Mniotilta varia) – Sandra spotted one wintering bird in a flock at RNA Las Tangaras. [b]
MOURNING WARBLER (Geothlypis philadelphia) – Wintering birds included two near El Palacio and one by the lodge at RNA Las Tangaras. [b]
AMERICAN REDSTART (Setophaga ruticilla) – One adult male was near El Palacio. [b]
TROPICAL PARULA (Setophaga pitiayumi) – One in the dry forests of the Cauca Valley at Quebrada Sinifona.
BAY-BREASTED WARBLER (Setophaga castanea) – One near El Palacio, then fairly common at Rio Claro. [b]

The upper montane forests above Jardin were home to Blackburnian Warblers and several other boreal migrants that make this a many-month home. Photo by guide Richard Webster.

BLACKBURNIAN WARBLER (Setophaga fusca) – One of the common wintering warblers in the Andes, the numbers surprising even those who live in their migratory path. Almost daily, especially above Jardin and at RNA Las Tanagaras. [b]
YELLOW WARBLER (NORTHERN) (Setophaga petechia aestiva) – One from our lunch table near the Rio Cauca. [b]
RUFOUS-CAPPED WARBLER (Basileuterus rufifrons) – Good studies of several in woodland patches near El Palacio.
GOLDEN-CROWNED WARBLER (Basileuterus culicivorus) – Good views of several in the dry forests at Quebrada Sinifona above the Rio Cauca.
THREE-STRIPED WARBLER (Basileuterus tristriatus) – A few at middle elevations in the Andes: La Romera and RNA Las Tangaras.
CITRINE WARBLER (Myiothlypis luteoviridis richardsoni) – John got us on our best near Las Ventanas and a couple more were seen at La M. This dull subspecies of the Western Andes has been proposed as a split, though the differences don't seem compelling to me???
BUFF-RUMPED WARBLER (Myiothlypis fulvicauda) – The loud song was heard daily at Rio Claro, and several were seen over our time there.
RUSSET-CROWNED WARBLER (Myiothlypis coronata) – A couple were traveling with Three-striped Warblers at La Romera, and two more were seen above Jardin.
CANADA WARBLER (Cardellina canadensis) – One to three daily at Morro Amarillo and RNA Las Tangaras; after Blackburnian, the most common warbler wintering in the Andes of Colombia. [b]
SLATE-THROATED REDSTART (Myioborus miniatus) – Common on the lower slopes of the Andes, below the elevation of Golden-fronted. We found them nesting in the banks of roads and trails at Morro Amarillo and RNA Las Tangaras. [N]

Golden-fronted Redstart (Whitestart) is a much prettier animal than this photo and you know it because you saw quite a few of them. A variation on a great theme. Photo by guide Richard Webster.

GOLDEN-FRONTED REDSTART (Myioborus ornatus) – The upper elevation redstart = whitestart, seen at Las Ventanas above Jardin and at La M. A beautiful bird. It is not an endemic, but is not on many tour routes outside of Colombia.
Thraupidae (Tanagers and Allies)
WHITE-CAPPED TANAGER (Sericossypha albocristata) – Daniel heard it from the jeep, and stopped us in time to get a good view of a single bird at La M. Its buddies had probably already headed down valley, but we had enough time to enjoy a good look at this striking, distinctive tanager. It is considered "Vulnerable."

White-capped Tanager was a thrill, and this poor photograph captures the moment while not doing the bird any justice. Photo by guide Richard Webster, he admits.

BLACK-CAPPED HEMISPINGUS (Hemispingus atropileus) – A few at both of the upper elevation stops, Las Ventanas and La M.
GRAY-HOODED BUSH TANAGER (Cnemoscopus rubrirostris) – Some good views at both Las Ventanas and La M.
GRAY-HEADED TANAGER (Eucometis penicillata) – Several flocks were seen at Rio Claro, including one with a not-so-gray-headed juvenile.
WHITE-LINED TANAGER (Tachyphonus rufus) – Seen several times on the slopes of Morro Amarillo, with the distinctively different males and females present in the typical disturbed habitats that this species favors.
FLAME-RUMPED TANAGER (FLAME-RUMPED) (Ramphocelus flammigerus flammigerus) – We saw this orange to red rumped subspecies at several places, mostly looking pure, but also a few orangier-rumped birds. Historically they may have acted like good species, but that is breaking down as altered habitats bring this and the next together.
FLAME-RUMPED TANAGER (LEMON-RUMPED) (Ramphocelus flammigerus icteronotus) – Common near El Palacio, with a few more at RNA Las Tangaras, where they were on the opposite side of the ridge from the flame-rumped types around the lodge.

Crimson-backed Tanager's beaks are never seem sharp in photographs because they are kinda shimmery or something. That is a scientific term, of course. Photo by guide Richard Webster.

CRIMSON-BACKED TANAGER (Ramphocelus dimidiatus) – Common in the Rio Claro region, also seen in Sabaneta and at Morro Amarillo. Stunning.
BLACK-AND-GOLD TANAGER (Bangsia melanochlamys) – One of the specialties of the tour, this endemic of the montane Choco of Colombia was seen daily at RNA Las Tangaras. Several were seen on high, exposed perches in the early morning, seemingly just surveying the world. It is considered "Vulnerable," with a population of 600 to 1,700 [which seems rather low]. [E]
HOODED MOUNTAIN-TANAGER (Buthraupis montana) – Bob and Alan had this species at Las Ventanas, and the rest of us caught up with it at La M, where a flock was on the other side of a small valley.
GRASS-GREEN TANAGER (Chlorornis riefferii) – This monotypic genus was much enjoyed, first above Jardin, then once again at La M.
LACRIMOSE MOUNTAIN-TANAGER (Anisognathus lacrymosus) – Several encounters at Las Ventanas.
BLUE-WINGED MOUNTAIN-TANAGER (Anisognathus somptuosus) – This beauty was seen several times, first above Jardin, then at RNA Las Tangaras.

A nice place to sit and eat a snack at RNA Las Tangaras. On many visits here, these shelters are used because of the rain, but we had a remarkably dry trip. Photo by guide Richard Webster.

BLACK-CHINNED MOUNTAIN-TANAGER (Anisognathus notabilis) – We did have a flock at RNA Las Tangaras, but our looks at this Choco specialty were not nearly as lengthy as we would have liked.
PURPLISH-MANTLED TANAGER (Iridosornis porphyrocephalus) – We enjoyed our first, which Rick found at RNA Las Tangaras, and his subsequent joke ("Sorry, it was the best I could do"), and then enjoyed some more there the next two days. It is considered "Near Threatened."

Sorry, no photo of Glistening-green Tanager, which deserves one! So you are stuck with another photo of Andean Cock-of-the-rock. Photo by guide Richard Webster.

GLISTENING-GREEN TANAGER (Chlorochrysa phoenicotis) – A great bird, but a tough bird this trip. Our first were a couple with a mixed flock, and Josh's directions got many of us on them. The next day another one gave some further views of the remarkable color of this Choco specialty.
BLUE-GRAY TANAGER (Thraupis episcopus) – Almost daily, least in evidence at Las Tangaras.
PALM TANAGER (Thraupis palmarum) – Not quite as common as Blue-gray, but widespread.
BLUE-CAPPED TANAGER (Thraupis cyanocephala) – We saw a few above Jardin and at La M. Genetic studies have shown that this tanager is not closely related to Blue-gray and Palm, but is a type of mountain-tanager; it may be returned to its old genus, Sporathraupis.
BLACK-CAPPED TANAGER (Tangara heinei) – A few were seen at La Romera and at RNA Las Tangaras.
SCRUB TANAGER (Tangara vitriolina) – Common in disturbed areas at lower elevations.
GOLDEN-HOODED TANAGER (Tangara larvata) – A lovely bird that was quite common in the Rio Claro region.
BLUE-NECKED TANAGER (Tangara cyanicollis) – Just a few--at El Palacio and Morro Amarillo.
RUFOUS-THROATED TANAGER (Tangara rufigula) – This Choco specialty was seen well down the road at RNA Las Tangaras.
BLUE-AND-BLACK TANAGER (Tangara vassorii) – This highest elevation Tangara was seen below Las Ventanas and at La M.
BERYL-SPANGLED TANAGER (Tangara nigroviridis) – Also with other tanagers below Las Ventanas and at La M.

A lovely town square in Ciudad Bolivar in the Western Cordillera. Photo by guide Richard Webster.

METALLIC-GREEN TANAGER (Tangara labradorides) – Seen by part of the group with a flock at RNA Las Tangaras.
PLAIN-COLORED TANAGER (Tangara inornata) – Plain-colored, indeed, in comparison with all that gaudiness up the list! Seen along the track at El Palacio.
BAY-HEADED TANAGER (Tangara gyrola) – Just a few--at El Palacio and RNA Las Tangaras.
SAFFRON-CROWNED TANAGER (Tangara xanthocephala) – Seen by some below Las Ventanas, then a few daily at RNA Las Tangaras and La M.
GOLDEN TANAGER (Tangara arthus) – Also in small numbers, though widespread.
SILVER-THROATED TANAGER (Tangara icterocephala) – Just a few at RNA Las Tangaras, just brief views for some.
BLACK-FACED DACNIS (Dacnis lineata) – Several sightings, rather transitory, at Rio Claro. This is "Yellow-tufted" Dacnis, split by a few, of Colombia and Ecuador west of the Eastern Andes.
BLUE DACNIS (Dacnis cayana) – A female at El Palacio, and another at Rio Claro.
PURPLE HONEYCREEPER (Cyanerpes caeruleus) – Several were in plantations at El Palacio.
GREEN HONEYCREEPER (Chlorophanes spiza) – Two were in a coffee plantation at Morro Amarillo.
GOLDEN-COLLARED HONEYCREEPER (Iridophanes pulcherrimus) – Josh spotted a distant male at RNA Las Tangaras; it was only seen by a few before it departed for a distant point.
BLUE-BACKED CONEBILL (Conirostrum sitticolor) – Nice looks at one in shrubbery around our Yellow-eared Parrot viewing spot.
CAPPED CONEBILL (Conirostrum albifrons) – A couple below Las Ventanas and two more at La M. C. a. atrocyaneum (with blue crowns).

Our group looking for Chestnut-bellied Flowerpiercer, one of the wished for birds at La M, but we did well otherwise. Though a mountain-toucan would have been nice, too! Photo by guide Richard Webster.

CHESTNUT-BELLIED FLOWERPIERCER (Diglossa gloriosissima) – A bummer at La M. Heard, probably seen flying over, and could not be encouraged to return. [E*]
BLACK FLOWERPIERCER (Diglossa humeralis) – One was in the garden at our breakfast spot near Las Ventanas.
WHITE-SIDED FLOWERPIERCER (Diglossa albilatera) – Multiples above Jardin, and singles at RNA Las Tangaras and La M.
INDIGO FLOWERPIERCER (Diglossa indigotica) – This Choco specialty was seen very well, even in the telescope, thanks primarily to a singing bird that lived at our most frequent parking spot at RNA Las Tangaras. A lovely shade of blue.
BLUISH FLOWERPIERCER (Diglossa caerulescens) – This dull-bluish flowerpiercer was seen above Jardin and at La M and generally not very well.
MASKED FLOWERPIERCER (Diglossa cyanea) – Fairly common around Las Ventanas, with two more at La M.
SAFFRON FINCH (Sicalis flaveola) – Seen several times in disturbed areas, starting at our Rionegro hotel.
BLUE-BLACK GRASSQUIT (Volatinia jacarina) – A couple were at El Palacio.
RUDDY-BREASTED SEEDEATER (Sporophila minuta) – Good views below El Palacio, with a few more beyond Doradal.
THICK-BILLED SEED-FINCH (Sporophila funerea) – Several were seen, males and females, below El Palacio. This is the western, all-black (male) split of Lesser Seed-Finch (Chestnut-bellied east of the Andes).
BLACK-AND-WHITE SEEDEATER (Sporophila luctuosa) – Morro Amarillo. [*]
YELLOW-BELLIED SEEDEATER (Sporophila nigricollis) – Our first were in Rionegro, followed by more below El Palacio.
SLATE-COLORED SEEDEATER (Sporophila schistacea) – We had good views of several below El Palacio.
BANANAQUIT (Coereba flaveola) – Widespread, generally in disturbed areas at low or middle elevations.
YELLOW-FACED GRASSQUIT (Tiaris olivaceus) – Seen at El Palacio, Morro Amarillo, and below La M (remember, during the backing-up traffic jam just above El Carmen).
DUSKY-FACED TANAGER (Mitrospingus cassinii) – We saw one or two groups (repeated encounters) of chattering birds at Rio Claro; good looks. Genetic studies suggest that this is not a "tanager," and propose a separate family along with a couple of other "tanagers that aren't tanagers" (Mitrospingidae).
BUFF-THROATED SALTATOR (Saltator maximus) – Seen at several spots: El Palacio, Rio Claro, and Quebrada Sinifona. The genus Saltator also awaits final settlement in a taxonomic home.
BLACK-WINGED SALTATOR (Saltator atripennis) – This striking saltator was seen nicely at La Romera, with more at Morro Amarillo.
GRAYISH SALTATOR (Saltator coerulescens) – One was seen in the lowlands beyond Doradal.
STREAKED SALTATOR (Saltator striatipectus) – Our first were in plantations near El Palacio, followed by several in disturbed areas on the slopes of Morro Amarillo.

Tanager Finch was a prize at La M; not the best picture, but it is our Tanager Finch! Photo by guide Richard Webster.

Emberizidae (Buntings and New World Sparrows)
TANAGER FINCH (Oreothraupis arremonops) – A Choco specialty of Ecuador and Colombia. We missed them below Las Ventanas, but at our second spot at La M we found a responsive pair. They stayed a little behind the front row, but we had good looks at this different looking, brushfinch like bird. It is considered "Vulnerable," with a population between 6,000 and 15,000.
COMMON CHLOROSPINGUS (Chlorospingus flavopectus) – We saw several at La Romera above Medellin. We saw C. f. exitelus; splits are expected. a.k.a. Common Bush-Tanager.
DUSKY CHLOROSPINGUS (Chlorospingus semifuscus) – Less common than expected at RNA Las Tangaras, but we did see several. It is restricted to the montane Choco. a.k.a. Dusky Bush-Tanager.
BLACK-STRIPED SPARROW (Arremonops conirostris) – One was at Quebrada Sinifona during our wren search.
GRAY-BROWED BRUSHFINCH (Arremon assimilis assimilis) – John saw this species below Las Ventanas. One of the split parts of the former Stripe-headed Brush-Finch.
ORANGE-BILLED SPARROW (Arremon aurantiirostris) – Heard below El Palacio, and then seen by most of the group at Rio Claro.
CHESTNUT-CAPPED BRUSHFINCH (Arremon brunneinucha) – We were staring into a thicket on Morro Amarillo, looking for Whiskered Wren, when this brushfinch emerged! Nice!
OLIVE FINCH (Arremon castaneiceps) – One was seen by about a third of the group in a mossy gully at RNA Las Tangaras. It is considered "Near Threatened."
RUFOUS-COLLARED SPARROW (Zonotrichia capensis) – Widespread.
WHITE-NAPED BRUSHFINCH (YELLOW-THROATED) (Atlapetes albinucha gutturalis) – Widespread, but one needs to look in the right bush at the right moment, which we did first on Morro Amarillo, and then several times at RNA Las Tangaras. At the moment the two groups are lumped; we saw the southern one, with gray bellies and contrasting yellow throats.
TRICOLORED BRUSHFINCH (CHOCO) (Atlapetes tricolor crassus) – We saw this brush finch two or three times at RNA Las Tangaras. A split is expected here (note the subspecies of this Choco bird); the other population occurs in central Peru.
SLATY BRUSHFINCH (Atlapetes schistaceus) – This handsome brushfinch was seen well below Las Ventanas.
Cardinalidae (Cardinals and Allies)
SUMMER TANAGER (Piranga rubra) – One of the common North American wintering birds, perhaps 15 in total. [b]
ROSE-BREASTED GROSBEAK (Pheucticus ludovicianus) – A few small clusters of wintering birds: El Palacio, La Romera, Morro Amarillo. [b]
BLUE-BLACK GROSBEAK (Cyanocompsa cyanoides) – A pair, the male singing, was seen in the forest understory at Rio Claro.
Icteridae (Troupials and Allies)
RED-BREASTED MEADOWLARK (Sturnella militaris) – Common in the wet pastures east of Doradal. a.k.a. Red-breasted Blackbird.
CARIB GRACKLE (Quiscalus lugubris) – A couple were seen briefly in flight over the same pastures.
RED-BELLIED GRACKLE (Hypopyrrhus pyrohypogaster) – One of the highlights of the tour was our good views of a flock of this forest grackle at La Romera: Close and personal! We had the bonus of two encounters at RNA Las Tangaras, where they are less frequently encountered, including nice views from the lodge viewing platform. It is considered "Vulnerable," with a population of 2,500 to 10,000. [E]
YELLOW-HOODED BLACKBIRD (Chrysomus icterocephalus) – Another icterid from our afternoon east of Doradal.
SHINY COWBIRD (Molothrus bonariensis) – Small numbers at scattered locations.
YELLOW-BACKED ORIOLE (Icterus chrysater) – Looks nice and sounds fabulous; they seemed unusually common or conspicuous on the slopes of Morro Amarillo, and we had a few more near the lodge at Las Tangaras.
ORANGE-CROWNED ORIOLE (Icterus auricapillus) – A nice bonus--two along the track near El Palacio. This is an uncommon bird that is not on many tour routes.
YELLOW ORIOLE (Icterus nigrogularis) – Seen by part of the group in ranch country beyond Doradal.
BALTIMORE ORIOLE (Icterus galbula) – Bob saw one the first day, a male in flight. [b]
MOUNTAIN CACIQUE (Cacicus chrysonotus) – A flock of these caciques was with a mixed flock below Las Ventanas; good views. We saw C. c. leucoramphus, split by some as Northern Mountain-Cacique.
RUSSET-BACKED OROPENDOLA (Psarocolius angustifrons) – Small numbers were seen at Morro Amarillo and around RNA Las Tangaras.
CHESTNUT-HEADED OROPENDOLA (Psarocolius wagleri) – A few were near El Palacio our first morning.
Fringillidae (Finches, Euphonias, and Allies)
THICK-BILLED EUPHONIA (Euphonia laniirostris) – Widespread.
FULVOUS-VENTED EUPHONIA (Euphonia fulvicrissa) – Several encounters in the forest at Rio Claro.
ORANGE-BELLIED EUPHONIA (Euphonia xanthogaster) – Fairly common in mid-elevation forests.

Birding the Choco. Yellow-collared Chlorophonia was one of our prizes along the road at RNA Las Tangaras, along with Glistening-green and Black-and-gold tanagers and Buffy (Pacific) Tuftedcheek. Photo by guide Richard Webster.

YELLOW-COLLARED CHLOROPHONIA (Chlorophonia flavirostris) – Josh got us on one at RNA Las Tangaras, a Choco specialty that is uncommon. Lower and closer would have been better, but at least we saw one!
LESSER GOLDFINCH (Spinus psaltria) – A couple were along the track near El Palacio.
YELLOW-BELLIED SISKIN (Spinus xanthogastrus) – Nice views of singing birds around breakfast after the Yellow-eared Parrots; also two at La M.

SILVERY-BROWN BARE-FACE TAMARIN (Saguinus leucopus) – Great looks twice at Rio Claro at this attractive Tamarin. [E]
WHITE-FRONTED CAPUCHIN (Cebus albifrons) – Seen twice at Rio Claro, a single (must have been more!) and a half dozen in good view along the trail.
RED-TAILED SQUIRREL (Sciurus granatensis) – Rio Claro and Morro Amarillo; sort of the "default squirrel" of Colombia.
ANDEAN SQUIRREL (Sciurus pucheranii) – Good views of one at La Romera, if you weren't distracted by grackles or greenlets or becards. [E]

Amazon Dwarf Squirrel. Of course it is not one-too-many Andean Cock-of-the-rock photos. It is a squirrel. Photo by guide Richard Webster.

AMAZON DWARF SQUIRREL (Microsciurus flaviventer) – According to Squirrels of the World, this species has a subspecies, M. f. otinus, that is in the Colombian Andes, whereas Western Dwarf Squirrel, M. mimulus, only occurs in the lowlands in Colombia. Sounds like a swamp that needs to be clarified, but we aren't the ones to do it. Anyway, we saw a dwarf squirrel very well on a cloud forest trunk at 1700m at RNA Las Tangaras.
LONG-TAILED WEASEL (Mustela frenata) – Josh, Rick, and perhaps others saw a critter from a jeep at La M that looked like a weasel. Long-tailed Weasels occur at high elevations in the Andes. It is their decision; I suspect they saw a Long-tailed Weasel.


Other critters:

Green Iguana: Rio Claro and east of Doradal

Morpho, a couple of species, including the highland M. sulkowskyi, and many, many other fine butterflies, some of which were to be sorted out from photos later by John, Sandra, Alan, and others.

Pepsis wasp with tarantula for part of the group, an interesting event to witness at La Romera;

Lizards, several teid types at Rio Claro;

Peafowl and Guineafowl and other wonderful creatures on the grounds of the Balandu;

Totals for the tour: 408 bird taxa and 6 mammal taxa