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Field Guides Tour Report
Jan 17, 2015 to Jan 26, 2015
Richard Webster, Rose Ann Rowlett, & Gustavo Bautista

A view toward Colombia's highest peaks, the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta, from the endemic-rich Cuchillo de San Lorenzo (photo by guide Richard Webster)

From vista points on the Caribbean shore to the palm-studded Cuchillo de San Lorenzo at almost 9,000 feet, we enjoyed spectacular vistas of the tallest coastal mountain range in the world. Thanks to several days of clear weather, we saw the snow-capped Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta, reaching 18,700 feet. And we found most of the many endemic birds while based in the comfort of a lodge surrounded by forest at 6300 feet.

Our trip started in the large city of Barranquilla. The first endemic was at dawn on the outskirts, the Chestnut-winged Chachalaca. From there we traveled to Parque Nacional (P.N.) Isla de Salamanca, where we visited a section of mangroves and adjoining woodland, finding the endangered Sapphire-bellied Hummingbird, Chestnut Piculet, Black-crested Antshrike, and a surprise Great Horned Owl. The part of the group who came a day early also visited a section of freshwater marsh with many species typical of wetlands from Florida to Argentina, such as Snail Kite and Limpkin, along with the bonus of a Northern Screamer, a welcome Dwarf Cuckoo, and a migrant rarity, a Mangrove Swallow.

The eastern extent of our journey was on the coastal plain to the base of the Guajira Peninsula. Based in Riohacha for a night, during a late afternoon and a full morning we concentrated on the regional specialties of deciduous woodland and arid scrub, finding Slender-billed Tyrannulet, White-whiskered Spinetail, Trinidad Euphonia, Glaucous Tanager, White-fringed Antwren, Crested Bobwhite, Vermilion Cardinal, Orinocan Saltator, Red-billed Emerald, and more Chestnut Piculets and Black-crested Antshrikes, while missing Tocuyo Sparrow. The lagoon was devoid of (visible) flamingos, but we did see Scarlet Ibis and Roseate Spoonbills, along with an exceptional assortment of large gulls, including Yellow-legged, Great Black-backed, Kelp, Herring, and Lesser Black-backed.

We moved to Minca for two nights. A morning in P.N. Tayrona produced the "bird of the trip" (well, perhaps only for the writer!), the endangered Cotton-top Tamarin, along with some feathered birds of the wetter lowlands, such as Crested Guan, Russet-winged Schiffornis, Orange-crowned Oriole, and Lance-tailed Manakin after Lance-tailed Manakin.

Birding above and below Minca included emphasis on several birds of semi-deciduous woodland, Black-backed Antshrike, Golden-winged Sparrow, and Santa Marta Foliage-gleaner, with partial success on the more widespread, skulking Rosy Thrush-Tanager.

Our first morning that took us as high as the wet forest and the start of most Santa Marta endemics proper included Santa Marta Antbird (to be revisited later), Santa Marta Tapaculo (also revisited), Rusty-breasted Antpitta, White-lored Warbler, Santa Marta and Sierra Nevada brush-finches, Coppery Emerald, and minimus Golden-faced Tyrannulet. That afternoon we headed up to El Dorado, our lodge for four nights at 6300 feet. En route we reaped the benefits of some impressive gardens with blooming "Mermelada" (Streptosolen jamesonii), getting terrific views of both Blossomcrown and Santa Marta Woodstar. We were greeted at the lodge by Band-tailed Guans, and we finished the day with an action-packed hour on the grounds, finding a male Black-backed Thornbill and both male and female White-tailed Starfrontlets among the hordes of Crowned Woodnymphs at the hummingbird feeders; then rushing to view the compost heap for our first Black-fronted Wood-Quail; and then to the "parking lot" for a pair of White-tipped Quetzals foraging in a fruiting tree. The sunset lit up the Caribbean, the Cienaga Grande, and Isla Salamanca from which we had come.

Dividing into two groups, we spent the next three days visiting both the ridgetop at dawn and the forests below the lodge. In addition to the great vistas, our early arrivals at the top found dashing and perched Santa Marta Parakeets ("dashing" in two senses), the potentially difficult Santa Marta Bush-Tyrant, Yellow-crowned Redstart, the skulking, distinctive Santa Marta Warbler, Black-cheeked Mountain-Tanager, Rusty-headed Spinetail, anachoreta Gray-breasted Wood-Wren, and varying views of some major skulkers--Santa Marta Antpitta (not being fed this year), spatiator Rufous Antpitta, and Brown-rumped Tapaculo. Some other highland species of interest were Sickle-winged Guan (sanctaemarthae), Strong-billed Woodcreeper (sanctamartae), Buff-breasted Mountain-Tanager (carrikeri), and Paramo Seedeater (oreophila).

Down the mountain, we had varying views of Santa Marta Foliage-gleaner along with Golden-breasted Fruiteater, Masked Trogon, Groove-billed and Emerald toucanets, "Paltry" Tyrannulet (improbus), Montane Woodcreeper, and Santa Marta and Sierra Nevada brush-finches. Around the lodge, we had extraordinary views of the habituated Black-fronted Wood-Quails and Band-tailed Guans, while some watching fruiting trees and walking the trails and road during breaks found Lined Quail-Dove, Moustached Puffbird, Gray-throated Leaftosser, White-tipped Quetzal, Sickle-winged Guan, and Red Howler Monkey.

Throughout our trip we enjoyed seeing some migrants on the wintering grounds, including many Prothonotary and Blackburnian warblers, along with Gray Kingbird, Great Crested Flycatcher, Summer Tanager, and Baltimore Oriole.

In addition to seeing snow-capped peaks within sight of the Caribbean, we saw a landscape that has been greatly altered by centuries of human use. BirdLife International estimates that only 15% of the Sierra's vegetation is intact. Using BirdLife's categorizations, we saw 1 Critically Endangered, 3 Endangered, 6 Vulnerable, and 9 Near-Threatened species, along with many range-restricted birds.

All of this was made possible by the efforts of Maggie Carpenter in the FGI office; of the many Pro Aves/EcoTurs employees at the lodges; and of our dependable drivers who transported us safely and helped with our field breakfasts. Special thanks to those of you who contributed photos, which help bring our memories to life: Peggy Keller, Bob Leppard, Bill Maynard, and Tony Ward. And thanks to all of you for coming; we had a great escape, and Rose Ann is still relishing her many life birds.

In the list below, taxonomy follows the Cornell/Clements checklist with recent updates. Our apologies to the Spanish language for omitting certain punctuation marks that do not survive cross-platform transfers on our computer system.

--Richard (& Rose Ann)

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)

Participant Bill Maynard took this portrait of a confiding Band-tailed Guan near our lodge at El Dorado.

GRAY TINAMOU (Tinamus tao) – Heard one evening before owling. It is considered "Vulnerable." [*]
Anhimidae (Screamers)
NORTHERN SCREAMER (Chauna chavaria) – (pre-trip) Bob provided a thrill when he spotted, through a gap in the reeds, this screamer, standing in a marsh. Good scope looks at the first for this tour seen standing. Restricted to northern Colombia and the Maracaibo basin, it is considered "Near Threatened."
Anatidae (Ducks, Geese, and Waterfowl)
WHITE-FACED WHISTLING-DUCK (Dendrocygna viduata) – (pre-trip) A few in the marshes.
FULVOUS WHISTLING-DUCK (Dendrocygna bicolor) – (pre-trip) Several small flocks in the marshes.
BLUE-WINGED TEAL (Anas discors) – (pre-trip) Wintering birds were common on the marshes. [b]
Cracidae (Guans, Chachalacas, and Curassows)
CHESTNUT-WINGED CHACHALACA (Ortalis garrula) – Our first endemic of the tour. The edge of a college on the outskirts of Barranquilla is now working well for dawn views of calling birds of this local species on the Colombian north coast. [E]
RUFOUS-VENTED CHACHALACA (RUFOUS-VENTED) (Ortalis ruficauda ruficrissa) – Heard well on the Guajira Peninsula, and for the part of the group that happened to be looking in the right direction, quick views. Considered the same species as the one that is common in Tobago.
BAND-TAILED GUAN (Penelope argyrotis) – Around El Dorado lodge, this species is becoming increasingly habituated, and a small group was often seen visiting the compost heap and other food sources. That is in addition to the single tame bird, the origins of which aren't clear, but which does not seem fully wild (but makes for a nice companion in a selfie; right, Peggy?).

Participant Bob Leppard captured this Sickle-winged Guan that emerged one morning when the fog rolled in along the ridgetop.

CRESTED GUAN (Penelope purpurascens) – We had great views (and listens) of several in Parque Nactional (P.N.) Tayrona. Regarded by Carriker as common on the slopes of the San Lorenzo ridge, it is now absent from accessible areas except, evidently, the protected parts of Tayrona.
SICKLE-WINGED GUAN (Chamaepetes goudotii sanctaemarthae) – One group had a great study of two different birds on the ridge, another was seen in flight there, and there were a couple of sightings around the lodge grounds, where we could hear them calling and flying around.
Odontophoridae (New World Quail)

Not only did the subtly beautiful Black-fronted Wood-Quail forage on the compost heap; it occasionally sneaked in for corn to the seed feeder right at the base of the stairway! (photo by participant Bill Maynard)

CRESTED BOBWHITE (Colinus cristatus) – Not at all rare in the dry lowlands, but we seldom encounter them, certainly not so well as this pair that was coming to drink at a pool at Camarones.
BLACK-FRONTED WOOD-QUAIL (Odontophorus atrifrons) – A wonderful experience around El Dorado, where birds were seen daily, primarily at the compost heap, but also coming to the quail feeder at the base of the steps. We also found a small covey along the road, evidently part of the lodge contingent, given their relative passivity. It is considered "Vulnerable," with a population under 7,000.
Fregatidae (Frigatebirds)
MAGNIFICENT FRIGATEBIRD (Fregata magnificens) – Several sightings of groups along Isla de Salamanca, and a few at Camarones.
Phalacrocoracidae (Cormorants and Shags)
NEOTROPIC CORMORANT (Phalacrocorax brasilianus) – Small numbers were in marshy areas, and thousands were roosting on mud bars far out on the lagoon at Camarones.
Pelecanidae (Pelicans)
BROWN PELICAN (Pelecanus occidentalis) – Daily in small flocks along the coast.
Ardeidae (Herons, Egrets, and Bitterns)
LEAST BITTERN (Ixobrychus exilis) – (pre-trip) One in flight over a marsh on Isla de Salamanca; a local species in Colombia.
GREAT BLUE HERON (Ardea herodias) – A half dozen wintering birds were seen on the lagoon at Camarones. [b]

This Band-tailed Guan in the garden at El Dorado had no trouble finding a friend. (photo by participant Bob Leppard)

COCOI HERON (Ardea cocoi) – A couple were seen on Isla de Salamanca.
GREAT EGRET (Ardea alba) – Common.
SNOWY EGRET (Egretta thula) – Common.
LITTLE BLUE HERON (Egretta caerulea) – A few along the coast, including on the river by our lunch spot near Tayrona.
TRICOLORED HERON (Egretta tricolor) – (pre-trip) In the marshes of Isla de Salamanca.
REDDISH EGRET (Egretta rufescens) – Just a few dark-phase birds on the lagoon at Camarones. It is considered "Near Threatened."
CATTLE EGRET (Bubulcus ibis) – A few along the way and at Camarones.
GREEN HERON (Butorides virescens) – (pre-trip) Several wintering birds were on marshes on Isla de Salamanca. [b]
STRIATED HERON (Butorides striata) – A few on Isla de Salamanca and near Camarones.
Threskiornithidae (Ibises and Spoonbills)
WHITE IBIS (Eudocimus albus) – Some small flocks were around Camarones.

The bird-rich lagoons of the Caribbean coast are but a few tens of miles from the montane forest of the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta, home to the greatest concentration of endemic birds in Colombia. (photo by guide Richard Webster)

SCARLET IBIS (Eudocimus ruber) – One brilliantly scarlet bird was seen at Camarones, along with about five less brilliant birds, presumably sub-adults (reported hybridization rates are low, but these birds could have been hybrids).
GLOSSY IBIS (Plegadis falcinellus) – (pre-trip) Small numbers were on Isla de Salamanca.
BARE-FACED IBIS (Phimosus infuscatus) – (pre-trip) Also on Isla de Salamanca.

The flamingoes were not visible this year at Camarones, but we were not without pink. This Roseate Spoonbill was photographed by participant Bob Leppard.

ROSEATE SPOONBILL (Platalea ajaja) – Several flocks were a lovely sight at Camarones.
Cathartidae (New World Vultures)
BLACK VULTURE (Coragyps atratus) – Daily.
TURKEY VULTURE (Cathartes aura) – Daily.
LESSER YELLOW-HEADED VULTURE (Cathartes burrovianus) – The marshy areas of Isla de Salamanca are a good location for this species.
KING VULTURE (Sarcoramphus papa) – Terry spotted a couple above Minca; good views of this striking vulture.
Pandionidae (Osprey)
OSPREY (Pandion haliaetus) – Several were along the coast. [b]
Accipitridae (Hawks, Eagles, and Kites)
BLACK-COLLARED HAWK (Busarellus nigricollis) – A few on Isla de Salamanca and one bird near the base of the Guajira Peninsula.
SNAIL KITE (Rostrhamus sociabilis) – (pre-trip) A half dozen in the coastal marshes of Isla de Salamanca.
PLUMBEOUS KITE (Ictinia plumbea) – A pair was carrying nesting material above Minca on 21 January. [N]
CRANE HAWK (Geranospiza caerulescens) – Brief views of a bird in flight on the outskirts of Barranquilla during our Chachalaca search.
SAVANNA HAWK (Buteogallus meridionalis) – One bird soaring over Camarones was interacting with the White-tailed Hawk.
GREAT BLACK HAWK (Buteogallus urubitinga) – A perched--and then flying--bird was seen briefly by some in both vehicles near Camarones.
WHITE-RUMPED HAWK (Parabuteo leucorrhous) – We had good views of two soaring birds on our way down to Minca; an uncommon forest raptor. Genetic studies have altered the generic relationships of many raptors, including this species, now in the same genus as Harris's Hawk.

At Los Cocos, the headquarters of Isla de Salamanca National Park, Virgilio drew our attention to this mammal asleep overhead in a tree near the entrance. Based on photos and ranges, it may well have been a Speckled Tree Rat, Echimys semivillosus. (photo by participant Peggy Keller)

WHITE-TAILED HAWK (Geranoaetus albicaudatus) – Good views of a bird interacting with a Savanna Hawk near Camarones. This is another example of a generic realignment based on genetic studies: White-tailed Hawk is now in the genus of Black-chested Buzzard-Eagle.
BROAD-WINGED HAWK (Buteo platypterus) – This wintering species was the most common raptor in the mountains. [b]
GRAY-LINED HAWK (Buteo nitidus) – An adult was seen in flight above Minca. As split from Gray Hawk of Central America to the U.S.
Rallidae (Rails, Gallinules, and Coots)
PURPLE GALLINULE (Porphyrio martinicus) – (pre-trip) A few in the marshes on Isla de Salamanca.
COMMON GALLINULE (Gallinula galeata) – (pre-trip) Fairly common in the freshwater marshes on Isla de Salamanca.
Aramidae (Limpkin)
LIMPKIN (Aramus guarauna) – (pre-trip) Several were seen and a few more heard in the marshes on Isla de Salamanca.
Recurvirostridae (Stilts and Avocets)
BLACK-NECKED STILT (Himantopus mexicanus) – A few on Isla de Salamanca.
Charadriidae (Plovers and Lapwings)
SOUTHERN LAPWING (Vanellus chilensis) – Good views on Isla de Salamanca and near Camarones.
Jacanidae (Jacanas)
WATTLED JACANA (Jacana jacana) – (pre-trip) Fairly common in the marshes on Isla de Salamanca. These were a black form, generally treated as a subspecies (hypomelaena), or suggested to be a morph. We did not see birds near Camarones, where they are often more intermediate toward typical chestnut birds.
Scolopacidae (Sandpipers and Allies)
SPOTTED SANDPIPER (Actitis macularius) – A few were seen on Isla de Salamanca, near Camarones, and from our lunch balcony near Tayrona. [b]
SOLITARY SANDPIPER (Tringa solitaria) – A few were seen on Isla de Salamanca and near Camarones. [b]

Sunset from the El Dorado lodge, looking back toward Cienaga Grande, Isla de Salamanca, and the Caribbean (photo by guide Rose Ann Rowlett)

GREATER YELLOWLEGS (Tringa melanoleuca) – Isla de Salamanca. [b]
WILLET (Tringa semipalmata) – One from the vehicles on Isla de Salamanca (probably "Western"). [b]
LESSER YELLOWLEGS (Tringa flavipes) – (pre-trip) One in a marsh on Isla de Salamanca. [b]
WHIMBREL (Numenius phaeopus) – Singles on Isla de Salamanca and near Camarones. [b]
WILSON'S SNIPE (Gallinago delicata) – One along a resaca near Camarones and (pre-trip) several in marshland on Isla de Salamanca. [b]
Laridae (Gulls, Terns, and Skimmers)
LAUGHING GULL (Leucophaeus atricilla) – Abundant on the lagoon at Camarones.
HERRING GULL (AMERICAN) (Larus argentatus smithsonianus) – Two first-year birds looked like North American smithsonianus; rare, but perhaps annual, at this location. [b]

A Large-billed Tern in flight over Isla de Salamanca (photo by participant Tony Ward)

YELLOW-LEGGED GULL (Larus michahellis) – An adult or near-adult gull with other gulls at Camarones had a pale mantle, dull yellowish legs, very little white in the wingtips, and very little dark marking on the head, like a Yellow-legged Herring Gull, consistent with what is currently split as L. michahellis from the Mediterranean. Perhaps new to Colombia. Mediocre photographs were obtained. Gull ID is difficult and this is a tentative conclusion. [b]
LESSER BLACK-BACKED GULL (Larus fuscus) – About eight at Camarones. We have been seeing this species yearly, although this is a record total, including about five adults and three younger birds. (For those keeping a South American list, it was a great gull trip!). [b]
GREAT BLACK-BACKED GULL (Larus marinus) – A distant bird at Camarones looked like about a second cycle Great Black-backed Gull. Scarce even as far south as Florida, it would be a notable find in Colombia (but not new for it). It was even larger than a nearby Kelp Gull, with a huge, dark bill. Bad photos. [b]
KELP GULL (Larus dominicanus) – Recently found for the first time in Colombia by FGI's tour (Jesse and Trevor); there have now been sightings for a couple years, and we saw three (two adults and perhaps a second-year bird) at Camarones. [a]
LARGE-BILLED TERN (Phaetusa simplex) – A couple in flight over Isla de Salamanca plus (pre-trip) a notable number at some marshes, including perched on barbwire fences.
CASPIAN TERN (Hydroprogne caspia) – A small number at Isla de Salamanca and many more on the shore at Camarones.
COMMON TERN (Sterna hirundo) – A few mixed in with the larger terns at Camarones. [b]
ROYAL TERN (Thalasseus maximus) – Several hundred resting on the flats at Camarones. [b]
SANDWICH TERN (Thalasseus sandvicensis) – Common on the flats at Camarones. During the lunch re-visit, three "Cayenne" Terns were seen, the yellow-billed southern form often treated as a morph, or a subspecies, T. s. eurygnathus. Further, some lists now split Eurasian from American (Cabot's, acuflavidus), which was presumably what we were seeing. [b]
Columbidae (Pigeons and Doves)

Dragonflies, like this Pallid Amberwing (Perithemis mooma) on Isla de Salamanca, kept participant (and photographer) Bill Maynard engaged even as the day heated up and the birding slowed.

ROCK PIGEON (Columba livia) [I]
PALE-VENTED PIGEON (Patagioenas cayennensis) – One perched near our first Bare-eyed Pigeon departed before it received much attention!
SCALED PIGEON (Patagioenas speciosa) – Several sightings, including great telescope views of a bird Gustavo spotted on the lower slopes.
BARE-EYED PIGEON (Patagioenas corensis) – This regional specialty was fairly common in the Guajira area, mostly in flight, but also including several views of perched birds.
BAND-TAILED PIGEON (WHITE-NECKED) (Patagioenas fasciata albilinea) – Seen on each visit to the top of the ridge.
COMMON GROUND-DOVE (Columbina passerina) – Seen daily on the coastal slope, including commonly in the arid areas near Riohacha.
RUDDY GROUND-DOVE (Columbina talpacoti) – First seen at breakfast in Barranquilla, then daily at lower elevations, generally in moister areas than the Common.
SCALED DOVE (Columbina squammata) – This relative of Inca Dove was seen daily in small numbers at lower elevations.
WHITE-TIPPED DOVE (Leptotila verreauxi) – Common in woodland at lower elevations. Something of a skulker, but with time there were many good views, including at the El Dorado compost heap (they have colonized clearings higher than their typical elevation).
LINED QUAIL-DOVE (Zentrygon linearis) – Heard in the forest, with a few sightings by some, e.g., Karen and Terry walking along the road near the lodge, and then briefly by RAR at the lodge wood-quail feeder.
EARED DOVE (Zenaida auriculata) – (pre-trip) A couple in flight on Isla de Salamanca.
Cuculidae (Cuckoos)

A calling Ferruginous Pygmy-Owl, here on Isla de Salamanca, was sure to attract a host of small birds to mob it. (photo by participant Bill Maynard)

DWARF CUCKOO (Coccycua pumila) – (pre-trip) One bird spotted by Bill & Tony on Isla Salamanca stayed for scope views by all. This small cuckoo is uncommon in the coastal lowlands.
SQUIRREL CUCKOO (Piaya cayana) – A few of this tropical classic were seen at P.N. Tayrona and at and above Minca.
SMOOTH-BILLED ANI (Crotophaga ani) – A few were seen in disturbed areas above Minca and it overlapped with Groove-billed on Isla de Salamanca.
GROOVE-BILLED ANI (Crotophaga sulcirostris) – A few on Isla de Salamanca (normally more conspicuous near Camarones?).
Strigidae (Owls)
SCREECH-OWL SP. NOV. (Megascops sp. nov.) – This is an easy bird to hear, and a hard bird to see, although on average a little less difficult than our string of attempts that finally produced one overhead. It is still undescribed, which probably has in part to do with the need to evaluate the specimen noted by Todd and Carriker as certainly different from Tropical, but which they were unwilling to describe on the basis of only one specimen. [E]
SPECTACLED OWL (Pulsatrix perspicillata) – Gustavo reported hearing it at El Dorado our first night, and a couple nights later Terry pointed out that one was calling after dinner, which we all heard. Apparently a new colonist to the lodge clearing and a high elevation for the species. [*]
GREAT HORNED OWL (Bubo virginianus) – Widespread, but uncommon and local in much of the tropical portion of its range. It was a surprise to us to see the one Bill spotted in the mangroves at P.N. Isla de Salamanca, but for all we know perhaps that is a regular habitat! (Todd and Carriker recorded none in the Santa Marta region). B. v. nacurutu.

Green Violetear was one of the commonest hummers at the higher elevations. This male, photographed by participant Tony Ward, has its violet ears extended.

FERRUGINOUS PYGMY-OWL (Glaucidium brasilianum) – In the process of using pygmy-owl calls to attract small birds, we saw several and heard more in dry woodland and open habitats along the coastal plain and in the foothills.
Caprimulgidae (Nightjars and Allies)
BAND-WINGED NIGHTJAR (Systellura longirostris) – One or two flushed off the road by the front vehicle during one of the pre-dawn drives up the mountain; seen by only two participants with RAR and Gustavo.
COMMON PAURAQUE (Nyctidromus albicollis) – Heard several times, such as in Barranquilla before our Chachalaca search and at Minca. [*]
WHITE-TAILED NIGHTJAR (Hydropsalis cayennensis insularis) – Two birds flushed repeatedly in short, arid scrub near Camarones. Although flighty, collectively we had some fairly good views, and further checking of publications supports the ID as this species, not Little/Todd's.
Apodidae (Swifts)
CHESTNUT-COLLARED SWIFT (Streptoprocne rutila) – Swifts were in short supply this visit, with this species seen just once on top of the ridge.
WHITE-COLLARED SWIFT (Streptoprocne zonaris) – Seen by Karen and Terry from the lodge vista point.
Trochilidae (Hummingbirds)
WHITE-NECKED JACOBIN (Florisuga mellivora) – This spectacular hummingbird was seen constantly at the Minca feeders, with a few others nearby and at P.N. Tayrona.
RUFOUS-BREASTED HERMIT (Glaucis hirsutus) – One was spotted by Gustavo at the Minca feeders during our last lunch visit.

We had marvelous studies of the endemic Blossomcrown feeding at (and spreading pollen from) nectar-rich "Mermelada" flowers at Palo Alto. Note the buffy tail tips of this, the nominate, race. (photo by participant Bill Maynard)

LONG-BILLED HERMIT (CENTRAL AMERICAN) (Phaethornis longirostris susurrus) – One group had a small lek at the lower end of the wet montane forest, and various disembodied hermit sp. squeaks were probably this species.
PALE-BELLIED HERMIT (Phaethornis anthophilus) – Regular in small numbers at the Minca feeders, with others in P.N. Tayrona.
BROWN VIOLETEAR (Colibri delphinae) – One or two were intermittent visitors to the El Dorado feeders, and another was seen feeding in an Inga lower on the slope. A widespread species that is generally uncommon and local.
GREEN VIOLETEAR (Colibri thalassinus) – The common violetear of the area, with dozens at feeders, in gardens, and feeding on the blooming Erythrina trees.
SPARKLING VIOLETEAR (Colibri coruscans) – Terry and Karen saw one at the El Dorado feeders. Common in the main Sierra, it is a casual wanderer to the San Lorenzo ridge.
BLACK-THROATED MANGO (Anthracothorax nigricollis) – Several sightings: P.N. Tayrona, below Minca, and at the Minca feeders.
BLOSSOMCROWN (Anthocephala floriceps) – We had a fabulous encounter with this species in a garden at 1700m. Our tours are dependent on gardens with "Mermelada" (Streptosolen jamesonii) for sightings; it was rare historically on the San Lorenzo ridge, and still seems that. We saw the nominate subspecies with buffy tail tips; a recernt paper proposed splitting the two subspecies on the basis of moderate genetic distance and (minorly) different habitat (Lozano-Jaramillo, Maria et al. 2014 PLOS One). The SACC has just passed a proposal to split them, but now needs to come up with a common name (we saw the nominate form). It is considered "Vulnerable," with a population under 7,000. [E]

We were lucky to see this adult male of the endangered Black-backed Thornbill hanging out at the El Dorado feeders. (photo by participant Peggy Keller)

BLACK-BACKED THORNBILL (Ramphomicron dorsale) – One of our prizes. Perhaps just a wanderer from the main Sierra; January seems a good season for a bird to show up at the El Dorado feeders, and we were extra fortunate that it was a glowing adult male that was seen very well. It is considered "Endangered," with insufficient data to estimate the population. [E]
TYRIAN METALTAIL (Metallura tyrianthina districta) – One or two were at the El Dorado feeders, and the species is common on the top of San Lorenzo ridge. This subspecies is split by some, although the male tail color seems typical of Andean leapfrog variation, and the more rufous female within the range of subspecific variation.
WHITE-TAILED STARFRONTLET (Coeligena phalerata) – What an amazing bird! The El Dorado feeders helped--we did not see an adult male in the wild, although one or two females were seen on each visit to the top of the ridge (and the females are distinctive and attractive). At the feeders, the species was scarce, but individuals made regular appearances, enough for great views. As Bill pointed out, the new version of the field guide reports that it is now known from the Sierra de Perija, so no longer endemic to Santa Marta (and probably not Colombia--the Perija is partly in Venezuela). [E]
MOUNTAIN VELVETBREAST (Lafresnaya lafresnayi) – A couple were seen on visits to the top of the ridge, and Gustavo put a lovely male in the telescope during an afternoon walk above the lodge. L. l. liriope.
LONG-BILLED STARTHROAT (Heliomaster longirostris) – One above Minca was seen briefly by a few.

One of several eclipse-plumaged male Santa Marta Woodstars feeding at the same "Mermelada" as the Blossomcrown (photo by guide Richard Webster)

SANTA MARTA WOODSTAR (Chaetocercus astreans) – Hummingbirds were a strong point of this tour, with the presence of several of this missable endemic (as split from Gorgeted) in a garden with Mermelada one of the highlights. We did not see any 'in the wild' (which we regularly do). The tiny size (about 6 cm) and insect-like flight were enjoyed at close range. Males were in eclipse plumage. [E]
RED-BILLED EMERALD (Chlorostilbon gibsoni nitens) – We saw males and females of this taxon near Camarones. The taxonomy of emeralds has been, and probably still is, a mess. A paper by Gary Stiles (1996 Wilson Bull.) attributes birds here to this subspecies and includes it in Red-billed, although birds here have almost no red in the bill, and look intermediate to Blue-tailed, which occurs a short distance to the east. Cf. Handbook of the Birds of the World, which lumps them all.
COPPERY EMERALD (Chlorostilbon russatus) – On our way up from Minca, we watched a male feeding around a couple of Inga trees, and on our way down, another male was seen by part of the group feeding at small red flowers, and a female put in a brief appearance during a pygmy-owl mob session. A glowing, glittering bird, whatever name is attached.
WHITE-VENTED PLUMELETEER (Chalybura buffonii) – This large hummingbird was easily viewed at the Minca feeders, and seen regularly in the wild up to middle elevation.
CROWNED WOODNYMPH (COLOMBIAN VIOLET-CROWNED) (Thalurania colombica colombica) – This stunning species was common at the El Dorado feeders, and provided constant color to the lodge grounds. It was also seen regularly at middle elevations in the wild. This purple-crowned population was recently re-lumped with green-crowned ones.

This male Lepidopyga, photographed by guide Richard Webster at Los Cocos on Isla de Salamanca, showed purplish well onto its belly--lower than on typical Sapphire-throated Hummingbirds and more consistent with the description of the poorly known Sapphire-bellied Hummingbird.

BUFFY HUMMINGBIRD (Leucippus fallax) – One bird showed up briefly for part of the group near Camarones; seldom easy, it was disappointing largely to miss this regional specialty (arid areas of Colombia and Venezuela).
STEELY-VENTED HUMMINGBIRD (Amazilia saucerrottei) – Common around Minca, including at the lodge feeders.
RUFOUS-TAILED HUMMINGBIRD (Amazilia tzacatl) – Common at the Minca feeders.
SAPPHIRE-BELLIED HUMMINGBIRD (Lepidopyga lilliae) – We saw very well whatever this bird is! Known only from a male specimen from mangroves in this area, the problem is that the birds we see are less purple than has been described in books based on the original description, but more purple than the nearby, closely-related Sapphire-throated Hummingbird. It is considered "Critically Endangered," with a population under 250. [E]
SHINING-GREEN HUMMINGBIRD (Lepidopyga goudoti) – (pre-trip) A male was seen briefly on Isla de Salamanca.
WHITE-CHINNED SAPPHIRE (Hylocharis cyanus) – Fairly common in P.N. Tayrona; good views of several, including "singing" birds.
Trogonidae (Trogons)
WHITE-TIPPED QUETZAL (Pharomachrus fulgidus) – Many saw a pair eating fruit in front of the El Dorado lodge (thanks to Antonio and our other drivers), Lisa saw one along a lodge trail during a break, Bill and Tony saw a pair along the tower trail during a break, and Terry and Karen heard several during a morning at the lodge.
MASKED TROGON (Trogon personatus sanctaemartae) – Pairs were seen in the forest above and below the lodge. This subspecies has been proposed as a potential split (e.g., by Niels Krabbe); splits are highly likely in this species elsewhere, but will require extensive study, so it may take a while!
Alcedinidae (Kingfishers)

Uncommon and local, this Moustached Puffbird was a nice find near El Dorado. (photo by participant Tony Ward)

RINGED KINGFISHER (Megaceryle torquata) – Several seen on the coastal slope, including near Camarones and the Rio Las Acacias (made that one up--Las Acacias was our lunch restaurant with that lovely river).
AMAZON KINGFISHER (Chloroceryle amazona) – A series of sightings on the coastal plain, again including Camarones (being chased by the Ringed) and the Rio Las Acacias.
AMERICAN PYGMY KINGFISHER (Chloroceryle aenea) – Terry saw one briefly in the mangroves at P.N. Isla de Salamanca.
Bucconidae (Puffbirds)
RUSSET-THROATED PUFFBIRD (Hypnelus ruficollis) – This fine bird was seen well, repeatedly, in open, arid areas along the coastal plain. It is not split from the Double-banded (bicinctus) group of farther east by Clements, but is in some other lists.
MOUSTACHED PUFFBIRD (Malacoptila mystacalis) – Tony found this uncommon bird during a post-lunch break and shared it with us a little later--for great telescope views.
Galbulidae (Jacamars)
RUFOUS-TAILED JACAMAR (Galbula ruficauda) – Repeated good views at Camarones and near Minca.
Ramphastidae (Toucans)
EMERALD TOUCANET (SANTA MARTA) (Aulacorhynchus prasinus lautus) – Less conspicuous than usual, but we ended up with multiple good sightings from around the lodge (where Lisa saw it during a break) on up. This subspecies has been split by some, as Santa Marta Toucanet (but it looks similar, sounds similar, occupies the same habitats, and the genetic distance is not huge).

Emerald Toucanet, of the subspecies lautus, is sometimes split as Santa Marta Toucanet--a somewhat dubious split. This one was eating fruits along the road below the San Lorenzo ridgetop. (photo by guide Rose Ann Rowlett)

GROOVE-BILLED TOUCANET (YELLOW-BILLED) (Aulacorhynchus sulcatus calorhynchus) – The lower elevation toucanet here. It was seen well by both groups. This subspecies hybridizes with nominate Groove-billed in Venezuela, and is lumped by most lists.
COLLARED ARACARI (Pteroglossus torquatus) – A pair was seen above Minca.
KEEL-BILLED TOUCAN (Ramphastos sulfuratus) – Heard almost daily, with several visual encounters of this great tropical bird.
Picidae (Woodpeckers)

A pair of tiny Chestnut Piculets, photographed by participant Tony Ward

CHESTNUT PICULET (Picumnus cinnamomeus) – A great-looking bird, and a local species from western Venezuela into northern Colombia. We enjoyed our first views in the mangroves at P.N. Isla de Salamanca, then saw them in dry woodland near Camarones.
RED-CROWNED WOODPECKER (Melanerpes rubricapillus) – This part of the Red-bellied etc. group was seen well at lower elevations.
RED-RUMPED WOODPECKER (Veniliornis kirkii) – One was seen in mangroves (a habitat that seems odd, but it is regular there) at P.N. Isla de Salamanca.
GOLDEN-OLIVE WOODPECKER (GOLDEN-OLIVE) (Colaptes rubiginosus alleni) – We saw it daily in the wetter mid-montane forests. Based on genetic studies, it has been moved to Colaptes from Piculus.
SPOT-BREASTED WOODPECKER (Colaptes punctigula) – (pre-trip) We saw a couple of pairs in open country on Isla de Salamanca.
LINEATED WOODPECKER (Dryocopus lineatus) – First seen at our lodge in Minca, with a pair on our arrival, and heard and seen a couple more times at mid-elevation.
CRIMSON-CRESTED WOODPECKER (Campephilus melanoleucos) – We had excellent views of a pair in P.N. Tayrona, and Karen and Terry had another pair near El Dorado.
Falconidae (Falcons and Caracaras)
BARRED FOREST-FALCON (Micrastur ruficollis) [*]
CRESTED CARACARA (Caracara cheriway) – Common along the coast, especially near Camarones.
YELLOW-HEADED CARACARA (Milvago chimachima) – Small numbers were seen along the coastal slope, including in P.N. Tayrona.
MERLIN (TAIGA) (Falco columbarius columbarius) – Singles were seen near Camarones; females perched and in flight. [b]
BAT FALCON (Falco rufigularis) – One flew over one group on the lower slopes, and another was in flight our last morning, at 2400m at a relatively high elevation.

For one group atop the Cuchillo de San Lorenzo, a small flock (family group?) of the endemic Santa Marta Parakeets lingered amid the fresh eucalyptus blossoms long enough for photos, this one by participant Tony Ward.

PEREGRINE FALCON (Falco peregrinus) – (pre-trip) An adult was on Isla de Salamanca (probably a boreal migrant, but not necessarily).
Psittacidae (New World and African Parrots)
ORANGE-CHINNED PARAKEET (Brotogeris jugularis) – Several encounters in the lowlands, including an amorous pair that surpassed the kissy-kissy of Scarlet-fronted!
RED-BILLED PARROT (Pionus sordidus saturatus) – Common at middle elevations, occasionally in transit over the top ridge. We did well with spotting perched birds and had telescope views of the details.
BLUE-HEADED PARROT (Pionus menstruus) – A couple of fly-over pairs near Minca; no good studies of this widespread species.
SCALY-NAPED PARROT (Amazona mercenarius) – Regular on the San Lorenzo ridge, but usually as fly-bys, so multiple telescope views of perched birds were a real bonus.
GREEN-RUMPED PARROTLET (Forpus passerinus) – This was the parrotlet of the arid Guajira region around Camarones; good views several times (Blue-winged, which we missed, is occasionally seen on Isla Salamanca).
SANTA MARTA PARAKEET (Pyrrhura viridicata) – One of the difficult endemics, for which we particularly make early morning journeys to the top. The species was encountered all three times, in small numbers, with variable views, though including perched (the last morning they were so early we were listening to screech-owls!). More and better views were desired, but the species was not consistently feeding in the same trees. At least we saw them! Considered "Endangered," with a population under 6,700. [E]
BROWN-THROATED PARAKEET (Eupsittula pertinax) – Around our Barranquilla hotel, with further sightings on Isla de Salamanca. Note the change in generic name from Aratinga.
BLUE-CROWNED PARAKEET (BLUE-CROWNED) (Thectocercus acuticaudatus koenigi) – With further checking, by process of elimination, these were the parakeets we saw in the evening of 18 January (en route to Riohacha), based on the color of the flight feathers (this is a not very blue-crowned subspecies). Not very satisfactory. Note the generic name change from Aratinga.

This handsome female Black-crested Antshrike, on Isla de Salamanca, was foraging successfully. This group is likely to undergo some taxonomic revisions. (photo by participant Bill Maynard)

SCARLET-FRONTED PARAKEET (Psittacara wagleri wagleri) – Some large flocks were seen moving across the lower slopes, but not stopping. Smaller numbers were on the upper ridge, and we had telescope views of two birds perched on a palm on our third morning up there. It is considered "Near Threatened." Note the change in generic name from Aratinga.
Thamnophilidae (Typical Antbirds)
BLACK-CRESTED ANTSHRIKE (Sakesphorus canadensis pulchellus) – We enjoyed good views of attractive pairs at P.N. Isla de Salamanca and on the Guajira around Camarones. These are currently combined in pulchellus, but formerly were both pulchellus and phainoleucus; in any event, these populations are likely to be split from other groups, such as those in Amazonia.
BLACK-CROWNED ANTSHRIKE (Thamnophilus atrinucha) – A.k.a. Western Slaty-Antshrike. We had good views of several pairs, and heard more, in P.N. Tayrona, where one was carrying nesting material. [N]
BLACK-BACKED ANTSHRIKE (Thamnophilus melanonotus) – After failing at Tayrona, we found a couple of pairs below Minca; a regional specialty. Formerly placed in Sakesphorus; genetic studies have shown it is a typical Thamnophilus.
WHITE-FRINGED ANTWREN (NORTHERN) (Formicivora grisea intermedia) – This species was fairly common in the Guajira around Camarones, and we enjoyed good views of multiple pairs. Note the subspecies: Splits are likely in this species (for instance, the females of this subspecies are white with black streaks, whereas in the nearby Magdalena Valley, they are buffy and unstreaked).

The White-fringed Antbird, here a male photographed by participant Peggy Keller on the arid Guajira Peninsula, is another candidate for a split.

SANTA MARTA ANTBIRD (Drymophila hellmayri) – After hearing them with brief looks, then seeing a distant one, we had a pair at close range. Recently split from Long-tailed Antbird based on genetic distance and small differences in voice and plumage (but interestingly, this species differs in habitat from typical Long-tailed, occurring in lower elevation bracken, not upper elevation bamboo) (Isler et al., Condor 2012). [E]
WHITE-BELLIED ANTBIRD (Myrmeciza longipes) – We saw one responsive bird at P.N. Tayrona, and heard another.
Grallariidae (Antpittas)
SANTA MARTA ANTPITTA (Grallaria bangsi) – A greatly mixed set of experiences. First, the bird that was being fed at the lodge had vanished (predator?). For five folks, a calling bird responded to playback by bounding out into the track in front of them, for a highly memorable moment; Terry and Karen managed to see one near the lodge; and Linda had a quick view of a bird on a bank above the road; the rest of us heard birds that declined invitations to appear. It is considered "Vulnerable," with a population under 10,000. [E]
RUFOUS ANTPITTA (Grallaria rufula spatiator) – This is one of the species for which playback has probably become less effective--many birders with access to few territories. Rufous Antpitta was seen about three times, but perhaps by only 2/3 of the group, and was otherwise heard well. This subspecies is highly likely to be split after a long, complicated study of the many populations is completed.

Birding from the palm-studded Cuchillo de San Lorenzo as the early sun starts warming us and lighting up the birds (photo by guide Richard Webster)

RUSTY-BREASTED ANTPITTA (RUSTY-BREASTED) (Grallaricula ferrugineipectus ferrugineipectus) – We were delighted to have great views of a chance encounter right at the start; perched above a little stream, it sat still for a long time. The northern subspecies (Venezuela to Colombia, nominate group) are likely to be split from the southern leymebambae group, which has a very different song.
Rhinocryptidae (Tapaculos)
SANTA MARTA TAPACULO (Scytalopus sanctaemartae) – We finished at the spot where we started, and everyone ended up with views of the lower elevation endemic; in between we heard many and had a few more glimpses. [E]
BROWN-RUMPED TAPACULO (Scytalopus latebricola) – As with Rufous Antpitta, playback issues plus skulking behavior make this species a challenge. After several encounters, about 2/3 of the group had seen it; everyone certainly heard this upper elevation species. [E]
Furnariidae (Ovenbirds and Woodcreepers)
GRAY-THROATED LEAFTOSSER (Sclerurus albigularis) – A widespread species that is relatively common in the Santa Marta area. Good views were had a couple of times along lodge trails. It is considered "Near Threatened."
RUDDY WOODCREEPER (Dendrocincla homochroa) – A scarce species in Santa Marta, near the edge of its range; we had good views of a bird that appeared near us above Minca.
PLAIN-BROWN WOODCREEPER (Dendrocincla fuliginosa) – Good views of one in P.N. Tayrona.
BLACK-BANDED WOODCREEPER (SPOT-THROATED) (Dendrocolaptes picumnus seilerni) – We had two visual encounters with this species, neither of which went well--the birds were responsive, but did not stick around for good views for all.
STRONG-BILLED WOODCREEPER (ANDEAN/NORTHERN) (Xiphocolaptes promeropirhynchus sanctaemartae) – There were several good encounters, including one in forest along the ridge top, one by Bill during a break, and another during a walk down the road. It was heard regularly at dawn and dusk.
COCOA WOODCREEPER (Xiphorhynchus susurrans) – We had good views of a bird Linda spotted in P.N. Tayrona, and heard others on the lower slopes. This is part of the Buff-throated Woodcreeper complex, which has been in taxonomic flux.
STRAIGHT-BILLED WOODCREEPER (Dendroplex picus) – Common along the coastal plain, from the mangroves of P.N. Isla de Salamanca to the arid woodlands of the Guajira region. D. p. picirostris.
STREAK-HEADED WOODCREEPER (Lepidocolaptes souleyetii) – Seen by part of the group on the lower slopes.

This Strong-billed Woodcreeper was extracting insects from the base of one bromeliad after another at the top of the ridge. (photo by participant Peggy Keller)

MONTANE WOODCREEPER (Lepidocolaptes lacrymiger sanctaemartae) – Seen daily in montane forest, with several good views with mixed flocks. This subspecies has been suggested as a potential split (e.g., Niels Krabbe).
PLAIN XENOPS (Xenops minutus) – One in P.N. Tayrona.
STREAKED XENOPS (Xenops rutilans) – A couple of sightings at middle elevations, including a bird that Peggy photographed along the trail at El Dorado.
PALE-LEGGED HORNERO (CARIBBEAN) (Furnarius leucopus longirostris) – We ended up with several sightings of what is often a skulker, but can be brazen, such as the one walking around in the open near a pond at Camarones. Pale-legged Hornero consists of at least three major population groups that are variously split or lumped; this subspecies is sometimes split as Caribbean or included in Pacific.
MONTANE FOLIAGE-GLEANER (Anabacerthia striaticollis anxia) – Several sightings with mixed flocks at middle elevations; an endemic subspecies that does not seem especially distinctive.
SANTA MARTA FOLIAGE-GLEANER (Clibanornis rufipectus) – This skulker provided a normal amount of misery. We started together with quick, variable views of one above Minca, then had a great study for one group, but glimpses for the other, and finished with more glimpses, all the while hearing them call and call. This species was originally described as a Ruddy Foliage-gleaner, to which it is related, along with Henna-hooded, all of which are now placed, based on genetics, in the genus with Canebrake Groundcreeper (Krabbe, Bull. B.O.C.; Claramunt et al. Condor 2013). It is considered "Near Threatened." [E]
SPOTTED BARBTAIL (Premnoplex brunnescens coloratus) – Heard by some. This species is rare in Santa Marta, and is generally missed. It seems unremarkable, but a recent study of Spotted Barbtail genetics showed that this population is genetically different at a level of a genus, not just a species (but that may be recalibrated as more Andean forest species are studied). [*]

Birding along the road below the San Lorenzo ridge (photo by guide Richard Webster)

STREAK-CAPPED SPINETAIL (Cranioleuca hellmayri) – Seen and heard daily in the middle and upper montane forest of Cuchillo de San Lorenzo, often with mixed flocks. This arboreal spinetail also occurs in the Sierra de Perija of Venezuela and Colombia, so it is not an endemic, but it always a lifer for everyone on the trip.
YELLOW-CHINNED SPINETAIL (Certhiaxis cinnamomeus) – (pre-trip) This marsh-loving spinetail was seen well on Isla de Salamanca.
PALE-BREASTED SPINETAIL (Synallaxis albescens) – One was seen near Camarones and another for one group in disturbed area on the slopes.
RUSTY-HEADED SPINETAIL (Synallaxis fuscorufa) – This attractive relative of Rufous Spinetail is common by voice on the ridge top, but a skulker that can require repeated attempts. The third morning up top provided improved views for some folks. It is considered "Vulnerable," with a population under 10,000. [E]

Participant Peggy Keller captured a typical view of this skulking but handsome White-whiskered Spinetail through a hole in the understory at Camarones.

WHITE-WHISKERED SPINETAIL (Synallaxis candei) – A stunning bird, but a skulker. We had good views with time and patience, often of birds foraging on the ground in the Guajira region. This regional specialty was formerly placed in the genus Poecilurus, which turns out genetically to be a subgenus in the middle of the Synallaxis tree.
Tyrannidae (Tyrant Flycatchers)
BROWN-CAPPED TYRANNULET (Ornithion brunneicapillus) – A pair responded well in the canopy at P.N. Tayrona.
SOUTHERN BEARDLESS-TYRANNULET (Camptostoma obsoletum) – A few on the coastal plain.
WHITE-THROATED TYRANNULET (Mecocerculus leucophrys) – Good views daily on the upper part of the ridge; quite vocal.
YELLOW-CROWNED TYRANNULET (Tyrannulus elatus) – One was seen in the canopy at P.N. Tayrona, where others were heard, and another was heard above Minca.
FOREST ELAENIA (Myiopagis gaimardii) – Good views of a couple at P.N. Tayrona.
GREENISH ELAENIA (Myiopagis viridicata) – Nice views of one above Minca.
YELLOW-BELLIED ELAENIA (Elaenia flavogaster) – Heard and seen at several spots at lower elevations.
LESSER ELAENIA (Elaenia chiriquensis) – One for part of the group on the lower slopes; always a challenging ID.
MOUNTAIN ELAENIA (Elaenia frantzii) – Mountain Elaenias were seen easily on the upper ridge.
OLIVE-STRIPED FLYCATCHER (Mionectes olivaceus galbinus) – Fairly common in montane forest, where it occurs at higher elevations than in the Andes, presumably because of the absence of its congener, Streak-necked Flycatcher.

The dazzling Crowned Woodnymph was the commonest hummer at the El Dorado feeders, where they were always around in mobs! (photo by participant Peggy Keller)

OCHRE-BELLIED FLYCATCHER (Mionectes oleagineus) – Several were seen above and below Minca.
SEPIA-CAPPED FLYCATCHER (Leptopogon amaurocephalus) – Heard below Minca, and one was seen by some with an owl-mob above Minca.
SOOTY-HEADED TYRANNULET (Phyllomyias griseiceps) – A responsive bird provided good views above Minca; widespread, but somewhat local and uncommon.
BLACK-CAPPED TYRANNULET (Phyllomyias nigrocapillus flavimentum) – Good views for many of a foraging bird on the upper ridge.
PALTRY TYRANNULET (MOUNTAIN) (Zimmerius vilissimus improbus) – We saw them, first for one group, then for everyone on our way down. As for what they are, that is still being studied (Rheindt, Frank et al. Biol. J. Linn. Soc. 2013), but the initial study points to at least three, if not four groups in the original Paltry Tyrannulet. The birds of northeastern Colombia are most closely related to petersi of Venezuela, one of those splits (Venezuelan), but may prove to be separate. The population we saw is not named separately, and is presumably part of improbus (called Specious as split by the IOC).
GOLDEN-FACED TYRANNULET (COOPMAN'S) (Zimmerius chrysops minimus) – Another taxonomic quagmire. We saw several pairs on our way up and down the mountain. They are remarkably quiet (but did respond somewhat once to dawn song from the Central Andes). Some lists currently split birds from Venezuela and NE Colombia as Coopman's Tyrannulet; minimus, endemic to Santa Marta, could potentially be further split, but has not yet been studied genetically or vocally (see generally Rheindt, Frank, Biol. J. Linn. Soc. 2013).
NORTHERN SCRUB-FLYCATCHER (Sublegatus arenarum) – Some good views, from the mangroves of P.N. Isla de Salamanca to the dry woodland of the Guajira and even the canopy of moist forest at P.N. Tayrona.
SLENDER-BILLED TYRANNULET (Inezia tenuirostris) – This regional specialty was seen well in the Guajira area around Camarones. A.k.a. Slender-billed Inezia.

But the most striking of them all was the endemic White-tailed Starfrontlet, here a male near the El Dorado feeders. (photo by participant Bill Maynard)

PALE-TIPPED TYRANNULET (Inezia caudata) – Uncommon around Camarones; we found one responsive bird. A.k.a. Pale-tipped Inezia.
PALE-EYED PYGMY-TYRANT (Atalotriccus pilaris) – One was seen in a viney tangle below Minca.
SOUTHERN BENTBILL (Oncostoma olivaceum) – We saw one in P.N. Tayrona.
PEARLY-VENTED TODY-TYRANT (Hemitriccus margaritaceiventer) – Good views of a couple in scrub near Camarones.
BLACK-THROATED TODY-TYRANT (Hemitriccus granadensis lehmanni) – One was seen briefly in the El Dorado gardens when we arrived, and then Terry and Karen saw one the torre trail from the lodge.
SLATE-HEADED TODY-FLYCATCHER (Poecilotriccus sylvia) – A responsive bird was seen in the mangroves at P.N. Isla de Salamanca.
COMMON TODY-FLYCATCHER (Todirostrum cinereum) – (pre-trip) Seen on Isla de Salamanca.
YELLOW-BREASTED FLYCATCHER (OCHRE-LORED) (Tolmomyias flaviventris aurulentus) – Several were seen in coastal woodland and forest near Camarones and at P.N. Tayrona.
CINNAMON FLYCATCHER (Pyrrhomyias cinnamomeus assimilis) – A few pairs of this extra-cinnamon subspecies were along the road at middle elevation.
OLIVE-SIDED FLYCATCHER (Contopus cooperi) – A calling bird was seen by one group high in forest at 1800m. It is considered "Near Threatened." [b]
TROPICAL PEWEE (Contopus cinereus) – A couple were seen at Minca.
ACADIAN FLYCATCHER (Empidonax virescens) – One was heard at 1300m. [b*]
VERMILION FLYCATCHER (Pyrocephalus rubinus) – Small numbers were seen on Isla de Salamanca (attending a nest on 17 January) and around Camarones. [N]
SANTA MARTA BUSH-TYRANT (Myiotheretes pernix) – One of the more difficult endemics; we did well on this trip, with good sightings on each trip to the top of the San Lorenzo ridge. It is considered "Endangered," with a population under 1,700. [E]
PIED WATER-TYRANT (Fluvicola pica) – Seen near Camarones and on Isla de Salamanca.
WHITE-HEADED MARSH TYRANT (Arundinicola leucocephala) – (pre-trip) Seen around the marshes on Isla de Salamanca.
YELLOW-BELLIED CHAT-TYRANT (Ochthoeca diadema jesupi) – This understory flycatcher was seen by both groups on the upper San Lorenzo ridge.
CATTLE TYRANT (Machetornis rixosa) – We did see them in wild, but the memorable ones were helping themselves to the ingredients at the hotel's egg-cooking station in Barranquilla.

On our first morning on the San Lorenzo ridge, the clouds poured in below like a river in the dawn. (photo by guide Rose Ann Rowlett)

BRIGHT-RUMPED ATTILA (Attila spadiceus) – A couple were heard in montane forest. [*]
DUSKY-CAPPED FLYCATCHER (Myiarchus tuberculifer pallidus) – Daily in the mountains, a relatively black-headed subspecies.
PANAMA FLYCATCHER (Myiarchus panamensis) – We observed a pair in mangroves at P.N. Isla de Salamanca; ID versus Venezuelan (which we missed) is difficult, but this bird seemed responsive to tape of Panama, and is the expected species in this habitat.
GREAT CRESTED FLYCATCHER (Myiarchus crinitus) – At least four were seen in P.N. Tayrona. [b]
BROWN-CRESTED FLYCATCHER (Myiarchus tyrannulus) – Several were seen in the arid habitats around Camarones, and others were giving dawn song.
GREAT KISKADEE (Pitangus sulphuratus) – Common along the coastal plain, starting at our hotel in Barranquilla, where they were nest-building. [N]
BOAT-BILLED FLYCATCHER (Megarynchus pitangua) – One was seen by one group in a wooded canyon on the lower slopes.
SOCIAL FLYCATCHER (Myiozetetes similis) – A few were seen in the lowlands, perhaps best along the "Rio Las Acacias."
GOLDEN-CROWNED FLYCATCHER (Myiodynastes chrysocephalus) – Present right around the El Dorado lodge, with others in moist forest down the slope.
STREAKED FLYCATCHER (Myiodynastes maculatus) – Seen first at Minca, then in forest in P.N. Tayrona.
TROPICAL KINGBIRD (Tyrannus melancholicus) – Widespread at lower elevations.
GRAY KINGBIRD (Tyrannus dominicensis) – We saw wintering birds in Barranquilla (at our hotel), on Isla de Salamanca, and around Camarones. Not the most "boreal" of migrants, but a migrant from farther north around the Caribbean basin. [b]
Cotingidae (Cotingas)

Russet-throated Puffbirds were common in the lowlands, even perching on wires along the road. (photo by participant Peggy Keller)

GOLDEN-BREASTED FRUITEATER (Pipreola aureopectus decora) – These birds were a challenge each time, but both groups did get to see this lovely species (team projects, especially Lisa, Bob, and Karen), which can be a skulker in the canopy.
Pipridae (Manakins)
LANCE-TAILED MANAKIN (Chiroxiphia lanceolata) – Remarkably common in P.N. Tayrona, where many were seen and yet more heard; certainly one of the most common species in the park.
WHITE-BEARDED MANAKIN (Manacus manacus) – A few females (or young males) were seen in P.N. Tayrona and below Minca.
GOLDEN-HEADED MANAKIN (Ceratopipra erythrocephala) – Terry saw one at P.N. Tayrona.
Tityridae (Tityras and Allies)
MASKED TITYRA (Tityra semifasciata) – A few were seen at middle elevations.
RUSSET-WINGED SCHIFFORNIS (Schiffornis stenorhyncha) – Thrushlike Schiffornis has been split into five species after a couple of detailed publications investigating both vocalizations and genetics. This species ranges from Panama to Ecuador and Venezuela, generally west and north of the Andes. After hearing it at P.N. Tayrona, we saw a responsive bird that was often just a bullet, but was seen perched by some.
ONE-COLORED BECARD (Pachyramphus homochrous) – We had good views of a pair in P.N. Tayrona.
Vireonidae (Vireos, Shrike-Babblers, and Erpornis)
BROWN-CAPPED VIREO (Vireo leucophrys mirandae) – This relative of Warbling Vireo was seen with flocks in the canopy of the mid-montane forest.
SCRUB GREENLET (Hylophilus flavipes) – One was seen near Camarones.
GOLDEN-FRONTED GREENLET (Hylophilus aurantiifrons) – A singing bird was seen in the canopy at P.N. Tayrona.
Corvidae (Crows, Jays, and Magpies)
BLACK-CHESTED JAY (Cyanocorax affinis) – Heard daily, seen regularly by both groups, but kept hidden from Rose Ann!
Hirundinidae (Swallows)
BLUE-AND-WHITE SWALLOW (Pygochelidon cyanoleuca) – Just a few high on the San Lorenzo ridge.
SOUTHERN ROUGH-WINGED SWALLOW (Stelgidopteryx ruficollis) – A few were seen in the lowlands: "Rio Las Acacias," P.N. Tayrona, and below Minca.
GRAY-BREASTED MARTIN (Progne chalybea) – A few were seen along the coast at Isla de Salamanca and by the mouth of the estuary at Camarones.
MANGROVE SWALLOW (Tachycineta albilinea) – A rarity in Colombia, we had good looks at a single bird on Isla de Salamanca (where we have often seen White-winged, but did not this year). Not exactly a "boreal" migrant, but presumably a migrant from Central America. [b]
Troglodytidae (Wrens)
HOUSE WREN (SOUTHERN) (Troglodytes aedon musculus) – A few seen and more heard in disturbed areas at lower elevations. The subspecies name on the checklist is the name for the Southern group, were it to be split; we saw something like T. a. atopus.

Pairs of Bicolored Wrens defend their territories by duetting side by side. This pair was photographed by participant Bill Maynard on Isla de Salamanca.

STRIPE-BACKED WREN (Campylorhynchus nuchalis) – (pre-trip) Seen on Isla de Salamanca.
BICOLORED WREN (Campylorhynchus griseus) – Fairly common at lower elevations, with sightings around Camarones, Minca (where on the hotel grounds), and P.N. Tayrona; striking in appearance, with a dynamic voice.
RUFOUS-BREASTED WREN (Pheugopedius rutilus) – Seen twice in subcanopy tangles above Minca, with several more heard.
RUFOUS-AND-WHITE WREN (Thryophilus rufalbus) – Unfortunately, we did not have a close bird or otherwise manage a sighting, just hearing a couple of distant birds. [*]
BUFF-BREASTED WREN (Cantorchilus leucotis) – Seen first at Camarones, then in abundance at P.N. Tayrona, where its varied vocalizations caused some confusion, managing to sound like more than one species.
GRAY-BREASTED WOOD-WREN (Henicorhina leucophrys anachoreta) – The presence of two populations on the one mountain slope has been known for more than a century. A recent study (Caro et al., J. Evol. Bio. 2013) analyzed song and genetics, and found the subspecies distinct without intergradation, almost certainly representing independent colonizations by Gray-breasted Wood-Wren from the Andes. Another paper is listed as in press splitting the older, upper elevation taxon, anachoreta. This form was heard on all visits to the upper slope, and seen several times.
GRAY-BREASTED WOOD-WREN (Henicorhina leucophrys bangsi) – The lower elevation, younger taxon, is apparently to remain as part of Gray-breasted Wood-Wren. Seen well, including a perched bird for which Marsha provided perfect directions.
Polioptilidae (Gnatcatchers)
LONG-BILLED GNATWREN (Ramphocaenus melanurus) – Heard below Minca. [*]
TROPICAL GNATCATCHER (TROPICAL) (Polioptila plumbea plumbiceps) – Common in the arid lowlands around Camarones. Note the subspecies: Splits are expected in Tropical Gnatcatcher when someone tackles that huge complex.
Turdidae (Thrushes and Allies)
ORANGE-BILLED NIGHTINGALE-THRUSH (Catharus aurantiirostris) – We were fortunate to encounter a relatively co-operative bird that perched for views several times; more were heard singing from similar thickets.
SLATY-BACKED NIGHTINGALE-THRUSH (Catharus fuscater) – Heard daily in the montane forest, and seen well by those who were vigilant about visitants to the lodge compost heap.

The group with whom we all escaped winter for a while to bird the Santa Martas (left to right): Gustavo, Richard, Harriet, Rose Ann, Tony (back), Peggy, Bill, Allison, Marsha, Lynda, Joyce, Karen, Terry, Bob, & Lisa.

SWAINSON'S THRUSH (Catharus ustulatus) – Singles were seen twice at middle elevations. [b]
YELLOW-LEGGED THRUSH (Turdus flavipes) – This enthusiastic singer was common in the lower belt of moist montane forest and was seen regularly.
PALE-BREASTED THRUSH (Turdus leucomelas) – The common thrush of lower elevations, which has colonized clearings up the mountain to at least 1900m.
CLAY-COLORED THRUSH (Turdus grayi) – Near the southern edge of its range, seen first in Barranquilla, then in P.N. Tayrona.
BLACK-HOODED THRUSH (Turdus olivater) – Uncommon, but regular in forest at middle elvations, and eventually seen well.
GREAT THRUSH (Turdus fuscater cacozelus) – Easily seen on the upper ridge.
WHITE-NECKED THRUSH (Turdus albicollis) – Both groups saw singles foraging in fruiting trees at 1400-1500m.
Mimidae (Mockingbirds and Thrashers)
TROPICAL MOCKINGBIRD (Mimus gilvus) – Common and quite vocal around Camarones.
Parulidae (New World Warblers)
NORTHERN WATERTHRUSH (Parkesia noveboracensis) – A few were seen and heard in the mangroves at P.N. Isla de Salamanca, with a couple more on resacas at Camarones. A few other "waterthrush sp." on mountain streams may have been Louisiana. [b]
GOLDEN-WINGED WARBLER (Vermivora chrysoptera) – One at 1100m above Minca was seen by a few folks. It is considered "Near Threatened." [b]
BLACK-AND-WHITE WARBLER (Mniotilta varia) – Joyce spotted our first, and a couple more were at middle elevations. [b]
PROTHONOTARY WARBLER (Protonotaria citrea) – Common on Isla de Salamanca and in P.N. Tayrona, both in mangroves and moist forest, and another was at Camarones. [b]
TENNESSEE WARBLER (Oreothlypis peregrina) – One of the more common wintering warblers on the mountain. [b]
AMERICAN REDSTART (Setophaga ruticilla) – Fairly common at lower to middle elevations. [b]

The endemic White-lored Warbler was photographed by participant Tony Ward in the mid-level forest of the Santa Martas.

BLACKBURNIAN WARBLER (Setophaga fusca) – Another common wintering warbler, most numerous around 1400m, but seen as high as 2600m. [b]
YELLOW WARBLER (NORTHERN) (Setophaga petechia aestiva) – Fairly common along the coastal plain and on the lower slopes. [b]
BLACKPOLL WARBLER (Setophaga striata) – One foraging in the canopy at P.N. Tayrona was a surprise in the middle of winter; most winter farther south, e.g., in western Amazonia. [b]
RUFOUS-CAPPED WARBLER (CHESTNUT-CAPPED) (Basileuterus rufifrons mesochrysus) – We had some nice views of this lovely bird (yellow-bellied types) above Minca.
GOLDEN-CROWNED WARBLER (Basileuterus culicivorus) – One of our last new birds, seen in an owl-mob serssion above Minca.
SANTA MARTA WARBLER (Myiothlypis basilica) – One of the more distinctive endemics, this skulker can be hard to see well, but we all had good views in the dense undergrowth on the San Lorenzo ridge. Note that genetic studies have resulted in the division of Basileuterus into two genera, with this and the next species in Myiothlypis. It is considered "Vulnerable" with a population under 1,700. [E]
WHITE-LORED WARBLER (Myiothlypis conspicillata) – This endemic was much easier to see than the preceding. Occurring at lower elevations, it was common, for instance, around El Dorado. It is considered "Near Threatened." [E]
SLATE-THROATED REDSTART (Myioborus miniatus) – Common at middle elevations.
YELLOW-CROWNED REDSTART (Myioborus flavivertex) – Great views on each visit to the upper ridge; a lovely and distinctive redstart=whitestart; Karen and Terry also had a pair above the lodge, where less common. [E]
Thraupidae (Tanagers and Allies)
GRAY-HEADED TANAGER (Eucometis penicillata) – Seen a couple of times in the understory of forest at P.N. Tayrona.
WHITE-LINED TANAGER (Tachyphonus rufus) – Peggy spotted a male as we headed back to Minca.
CRIMSON-BACKED TANAGER (Ramphocelus dimidiatus) – This beauty was fairly common in P.N. Tayrona and on the disturbed lower slopes.
BLACK-CHEEKED MOUNTAIN-TANAGER (Anisognathus melanogenys) – This attractive endemic can be scarce, but was seen well on each visit to the top of Cuchillo de San Lorenzo. A.k.a. Santa Marta Mountain-Tanager. [E]

Participant Tony Ward captured this Black-cheeked Mountain-Tanager foraging in the lichen-, moss-, and bromeliad-clad forest along the upper Cuchillo de San Lorenzo.

BUFF-BREASTED MOUNTAIN-TANAGER (BUFF-BREASTED) (Dubusia taeniata carrikeri) – Seen well on the first visit to the ridge top, and heard on the third. An endemic subspecies, carrikeri's song differs some in quality but not pattern from that of birds in the main Andes.
BLUE-GRAY TANAGER (Thraupis episcopus) – Small numbers were seen on the disturbed lower slopes.
GLAUCOUS TANAGER (Thraupis glaucocolpa) – Seen at the toll station en route to Riohacha, near Camarones, and (pre-trip) Isla de Salamanca.
PALM TANAGER (Thraupis palmarum) – Just a few of this widespread, ordinarily common species (P.N. Tayrona, above Minca).
BLUE-CAPPED TANAGER (Thraupis cyanocephala margaritae) – An uncommon tanager on the mountain; we saw just a few at the elevation of the lodge. This species may become Sporothraupis cyanocephala; genetic studies have shown that Thraupis consists of several groups (with Blue-gray and Palm in the midst of Tangara!).
BLACK-HEADED TANAGER (Tangara cyanoptera) – Seen well in disturbed habitats at middle elevations. This is one of a number of species of moist forest with a primarily Venezuelan distribution (e.g., Band-tailed Guan, White-tipped Quetzal, several tyrannulets).
BLACK-CAPPED TANAGER (Tangara heinei) – Just a few this trip.

This Pileated Finch, photographed by participant Bill Maynard at Camarones, had its crest raised as it mobbed at Ferruginous Pygmy-Owl.

BAY-HEADED TANAGER (Tangara gyrola) – Common at middle elevations.
SWALLOW TANAGER (Tersina viridis) – Several encounters at lower elevations, most notably the large flock that intrigued Joyce below Minca (and dazzled us all). This species is thought to be migratory to some degree, and such a monotypic flock may be part of that.
BLUE DACNIS (Dacnis cayana) – One female at P.N. Tayrona and another on the lower slopes.
BICOLORED CONEBILL (Conirostrum bicolor) – Several good views in the mangroves at P.N. Isla de Salamanca. This conebill occurs in widely scattered areas from coastal mangroves to riverine habitats in upper Amazonia. It is considered "Near Threatened."
BLACK FLOWERPIERCER (Diglossa humeralis nocticolor) – A few on each visit to the top of the ridge, with at least one in a clearing at the level of the lodge.
WHITE-SIDED FLOWERPIERCER (Diglossa albilatera) – Easily seen in the gardens at middle elevation.
RUSTY FLOWERPIERCER (Diglossa sittoides) – Overlaps with White-sided, but mostly seen even lower, often in introduced hibiscus.
SAFFRON FINCH (Sicalis flaveola) – (pre-trip) Two on Isla de Salamanca.
THICK-BILLED SEED-FINCH (Sporophila funerea) – A couple of quick encounters on the lower slopes (this is the western part of Lesser Seed-Finch). [We also saw a couple of female Sporophila seedeaters that were left unidentified.]
PARAMO SEEDEATER (Catamenia homochroa oreophila) – On our last visit to the ridge, good views of a responsive male. Originally described as a separate species from female specimens differing in structure and plumage, it has been lumped with Paramo in recent years; interesting recordings by Andrew Spencer will allow a further basis for comparison.
PILEATED FINCH (Coryphospingus pileatus) – This can be a dull gray finch, but we were fortunate near Camarones to have a couple that showed the striking, often concealed crest.
BANANAQUIT (Coereba flaveola) – Common on the coastal plain.
DULL-COLORED GRASSQUIT (Tiaris obscurus) – For one group, brief views of a couple.

We had a number of close encounters with the endemic Santa Marta Brush-Finch, especially right at the El Dorado lodge, where it attends the feeders and compost heap. (photo by participant Tony Ward)

BLACK-FACED GRASSQUIT (Tiaris bicolor) – A few female-plumaged birds near Camarones and on the disturbed lower slopes.
ROSY THRUSH-TANAGER (Rhodinocichla rosea) – Two encounters, both difficult, but during the second at least four people actually saw the skulking thing! Otherwise, a loud voice from the undergrowth. From Mexico to Venezuela, but local and usually hard to see.
BUFF-THROATED SALTATOR (Saltator maximus) – A few from lower to middle elevations.
ORINOCAN SALTATOR (Saltator orenocensis) – Good scope views of two birds perched up at Camarones; distant, but lengthy, views.
GRAYISH SALTATOR (Saltator coerulescens) – Common in the Guajira region, where we saw a couple snipping the petals off pink flowers.
STREAKED SALTATOR (Saltator striatipectus) – Found on the lower and middle slopes around and above Minca, eventually seen by all.
Emberizidae (Buntings and New World Sparrows)
GOLDEN-WINGED SPARROW (Arremon schlegeli) – Two were seen above Minca on our way up, with more good views of this gorgeous bird on the way down--an individual Marsha spotted at our last birding spot.
SIERRA NEVADA BRUSH-FINCH (Arremon basilicus) – Several encounters, our first above Minca, then several times at the feeders and compost at El Dorado. As split from Stripe-headed/Gray-browed Brush-Finch. [E]
SANTA MARTA BRUSH-FINCH (Atlapetes melanocephalus) – Common and confiding over much of the mountain, even coming to people's hands for food at the standard breakfast spot at the top of the ridge. [E]
RUFOUS-COLLARED SPARROW (Zonotrichia capensis) – Daily in small numbers in clearings and disturbed areas from the middle to the top of the ridge.
Cardinalidae (Cardinals and Allies)
SUMMER TANAGER (Piranga rubra) – Wintering birds were noted on five days, from Minca up to 1400m. [b]
VERMILION CARDINAL (Cardinalis phoeniceus) – Just another Cardinal? Not quite (and certainly not the Cardinal on the local buses!), with the recurved crest and distinctively different female plumage. We were pleased to see them several times around Camarones, where they are uncommon and somewhat low key. A regional specialty of the arid Caribbean coast of South America.

This striking male Blue-naped Chlorophonia was one of a small group of chlorophonias coming to the banana feeders at the El Dorado lodge. (photo by guide Richard Webster)

GOLDEN GROSBEAK (Pheucticus chrysogaster) – Typically scarce on this mountain, there were just a few sightings, including one Marsha had from her room at El Dorado.
ROSE-BREASTED GROSBEAK (Pheucticus ludovicianus) – Fairly common wintering species, seen over the same zones as Summer Tanager, about 300-1400m. [b]
BLUE-BLACK GROSBEAK (Cyanocompsa cyanoides) – Seen briefly by Tony, and its sweet song heard by all, at P.N. Tayrona.
INDIGO BUNTING (Passerina cyanea) – One female for one group; near the southern end of its winter range. [b]
Icteridae (Troupials and Allies)
GREAT-TAILED GRACKLE (Quiscalus mexicanus) – Common along the coastal slope.
CARIB GRACKLE (Quiscalus lugubris) – Seen well along the coastal plain, an area that this species has recently colonized from the llanos (along with much of the Magdalena Valley).
YELLOW-HOODED BLACKBIRD (Chrysomus icterocephalus) – (pre-trip) A few on Isla de Salamanca.
SHINY COWBIRD (Molothrus bonariensis) – Good looks at a species to which we paid more attention while searching unsuccessfully for Bronzed Cowbird.
GIANT COWBIRD (Molothrus oryzivorus) – One small flock seen in the Crested Oropendola zone.
YELLOW-BACKED ORIOLE (Icterus chrysater) – Seen on two days in disturbed areas at middle elevation; several were singing--a lovely song.
ORANGE-CROWNED ORIOLE (Icterus auricapillus) – This uncommon bird was seen several times in P.N. Tayrona, and was much enjoyed--a real beauty.
YELLOW ORIOLE (Icterus nigrogularis) – Several sightrings: Isla de Salamanca, Camarones, and P.N. Tayrona.
BALTIMORE ORIOLE (Icterus galbula) – Wintering birds were seen on Isla de Salamanca and at the tollbooth en route to Riohacha. [b]
YELLOW-RUMPED CACIQUE (Cacicus cela) – One seen at the tollbooth en route to Riohacha; for some reason, this widespread species is actually rather local in this region.

Seeing a small group of the endemic Cotton-top Tamarins at Tayrona National Park was one of the highlights of the trip. This one, photographed by participant Tony Ward, had spotted us as well!

CRESTED OROPENDOLA (Psarocolius decumanus) – Amazing birds, vocally and visually, even if a widespread species in the tropics.
Fringillidae (Finches, Euphonias, and Allies)
TRINIDAD EUPHONIA (Euphonia trinitatis) – Several were seen in dry woodland en route to Riohacha.
THICK-BILLED EUPHONIA (Euphonia laniirostris) – Brief views for a few in P.N. Tayrona.
BLUE-NAPED CHLOROPHONIA (Chlorophonia cyanea) – Seen daily at middle elevations, especially at the banana feeders at El Dorado--delicious eye candy--and once on top of the ridge.
LESSER GOLDFINCH (Spinus psaltria) – Two in transit below Minca.

COTTON-TOP TAMARIN (Saguinus oedipus) – A highlight--great views of a small group of this highly endangered, mega-charismatic, endemic primate with a tiny range, at P.N. Tayrona.
RED HOWLER MONKEY (Alouatta seniculus) – Heard daily on the mountain, seen at least by Tony, who was hiking during a break.
WHITE-FRONTED CAPUCHIN (Cebus albifrons) – One troop was seen at P.N. Tayrona, and bamboo-banging was heard in their wake.
RED-TAILED SQUIRREL (Sciurus granatensis) – Squirrel taxonomy makes tyrannulets look easy, but this seems to be the species from top to bottom of the mountain.
CENTRAL AMERICAN AGOUTI (Dasyprocta punctata) – Seen several times around the El Dorado clearing, including by the compost heap (its range is from southern Mexico to western Venezuela).
CRAB-EATING FOX (Cerdocyon thous) – Seen by a few folks in one vehicle heading back down the mountain from the ridgetop; another was DOR there.
TAYRA (Eira barbara) – The lead vehicle (still parked!) saw one running up the road at Palo Alto.


In addition to those listed above, there were a number of other critters that caught our eye:

Speckled Tree Rat, Echimys semivillosus? - This is a suggestion for the species of mammal that Virgilio found near the parking lot at P.N. Isla de Salamanca.

Bats were noted during every owling trip, and at other times, such as by Harriet, who had a peaceful visitor to her room.

Dead mole - A stakeout, day after day.

Iguana iguana - several large ones on Isla de Salamanca.

Teid lizard sp. - Probably Ameiva ameiva for the large, blue-toned lizard we saw at P.N. Isla de Salamanca, but there are several species of Ameiva lizard in the region, and this was based on internet checking of photos.

Dragonflies - Always something to keep Bill busy when the birds were scarce.

Butterflies & moths - Modest in number and variety, but often beautiful, from classic Morphos on down in size.

Kinkajou - Gustavo had one at the hummingbird feeders at night at El Dorado; we left it off the list because it was leader-only, but perhaps we didn't hear about someone else's seeing it.

Totals for the tour: 337 bird taxa and 7 mammal taxa