The Colombian Andes - June 2007

Published by Barry Walker (bwalker AT

Participants: Barry Walker, Bradley Davis, Scott Olmstead, Luis Eduardo Urueña,Rolph Davis and David Fiddler


Photos with this report (click to enlarge)

Santa Marta Bush-Tyrant
Santa Marta Bush-Tyrant

Copyright Manu Expeditions

This trip was planned as a scout for some upcoming Manu Expeditions Birding trips to the country. We did not look for some species we would look for on future tours, as this was very much a scouting trip with limited time. Colombia has come a long way in answering its security questions and the time is was ripe to visit this bird rich country with the help of the NGO ProAves. ProAves is a Colombian NGO dedicated to the conservation of birds and their habitats. They own a superb network of 11 reserves totaling over 10,000 hectares, protecting critical habitat for many of Colombia’s threatened and endemic bird species. ProAves also invests a lot in ornithological research, in order to improve our knowledge of Colombia’s avifauna and to identify new target areas for reserves. They don’t neglect environmental education either, and their mobile environmental classroom, called the Loro Bus (“Parrot Bus”), is known throughout the country. Their countrywide campaign against the cutting of the wax palm tree for religious ceremonies went a long way towards saving the Yellow-eared Parrot from extinction and they continue to buy land to conserve extremely range restricted birds and on this trip, as for future trips we will stay at their accomdations at the reserves. Colombia – one of the two most diverse countries for birds on the planet along with Peru (which it narrowly outstrips due to records of migrants and vagrants on the San Andreas Island in the Caribbean). North of Ecuador the Andes branches into 3 distinct mountain chains, separated by the Cauca and Magdalena valleys, each with its endemic avifauna. The Santa Marta mountains rise, it seems, straight out of the Carribean and is a spectacular mountain range with a hatful of localized endemics. Mention of Colombia conjures images of Emeralds, Coffee, Vallenato music, Guerillas and Cocaine and indeed like many developing countries Colombia is in flux. We made no excuse for concentrating on endemics in the Colombian Andes, and the trip did not concern itself with common coastal and Amazonian birds, though on the route we took we did not ignore anything that popped up in front of us. This trip report is based on visits to reserves that protect the last remaining forests and habitats of some of the most endangered birds in the world. We recorded 40 Colombian endemics, many endangered, some critically. Barry Walker on this trip got around 60 new birds despite 25 years birding the Andes, many endemics, and he had seen all the Santa Marta endemics previously.

The Agenda

June 6th – Arrival in Bogota and brief trip to Parque La Florida then fly to Ibague

June 7th – Drive to remant forest patches above Ibague and explore forest fragments, Depratment of Tolima. 1500-1800 meters

June 8th – 9th Birding above Ibague. Depratment of Tolima. 1500 –1800 meters

June 10th Drive to Puerto Pinzon and onto Reserva Natural de Aves El Paujil , Serranía de las Quinchas. Department of Boyacu. 200 meters

June 11th –13th Reserva Natural de Aves El Paujil , Serranía de las Quinchas. Department of Boyacu. 200 meters

June 14th – El Paujil to Reserva Natural de Aves Reinita Cielo Azul (Cerulean Warbler Reserve). Department of Santander

June 15th - 17th Reserva Natural de Aves Reinita Cielo Azul (Cerulean Warbler Reserve) Department of Santander. 1300-1900 meters.

June 18th Drive from San Vicente to Ocona with stops. Afternoon at the Reserva Natural de Aves Horiguero, department of Norte Santander 1500-1700 meters

June 19th - Reserva Natural de Aves Horiguero, department of Norte Santander 1500-1700 meters

June 20th – Early morning at Reserva Natural de Aves Horiguero, department of Norte Santander 1500-1700 meters and then drive to Santa Marta

June 21st – Santa Marta to San Lorenzo ridge with stops at 500meters and 1300 meters and then to the El Dorado Lodge 1900-2000 meters

June 22nd 23rd - San Lorenzo ridge and the El Dorado Lodge 1900-2500 meters

June 24th – Early morning around El Dorado Lodge and then drive to Santa Marta for flights home.


Species which were heard but not seen are indicated by the symbol *
SACC = South American checklist Commitee


Great Tinamou – Timamus major*

Little Tinamou - Crypturellus soui*:


Great Egret - Ardea albus: We saw small numbers at several wetland sites. Now usually placed in the genus Ardea.

Snowy Egret Egretta thula

Striated Heron Butorides striatus: Small numbers seen at several wetland areas.

Cattle Egret Bubulcus ibis: Common and widespread.

Capped Heron Pilherodius pileatus: We had nice looks at the Paujil reserve.


Whispering Ibis (Bare-faced ) Phimosus infuscatus: A few encounters


Northern Screamer Chauna chavaria: Seen well (3 birds) on the way in and on the way to of the RNA Paujil. NEAR THREATENED


Black-bellied Whistling-Duck Dendrocygna autumnalis: Ten near Puerto Pinzon.


Turkey Vulture Cathartes aura

Black Vulture Coragyps atratus


Grey-headed Kite Leptodon cayanensis: One drifted over us at the Cerulena warbler Reserve

American Swallow-tailed Kite Elanoides forficatus: One of the most elegant birds of the Neotropics. 10+ at the Paujil reserve.

White-tailed Kite Elanus leucurus

Plumbeous Kite Ictinia plumbea. 2 at the Paujil Reserve

Semi-collared Hawk Accipiter collaris. One of this scrace species seen repeatedly above Ibague. NEAR THREATENED

Savanna Hawk Heterospizias meridionalis: Only three singles noted

Roadside Hawk Buteo magnirostris: Numerous and widespread in small numbers.

White-rumped Hawk Buteo leucorrhous: We saw three on consecutive dates at San Lorenzo in the Santa Marta mountains.

Short-tailed Hawk – Buteo brachyurus

Black Hawk-Eagle – Spizaetus tyrannus Recorded daily at the Cerulean Warbler Reserve


Northern Caracara - Caracara cheriway: Small numbers at several sites. Formerly placed in the genus Polyborus but, this species has been switched to the genus Caracara. Note also that the former species known as Crested Caracara, has been split into three species with those ranging north of north-west Peru and the Amazon River ( i.e Colombia) are referable to Northern Crested-Caracara C. cheriway while another form, the extinct Guadalupe Caracara C. lutosus, of Guadalupe Island, Mexico, has also been given its untimely species status. The SACC says “Caracara cheriway and C. plancus were formerly considered conspecific (e.g., Hellmayr & Conover 1949, Phelps & Phelps 1958a), sometimes also including C. lutosus of Guadalupe Island (e.g., Meyer de Schauensee 1970, Stresemann and Amadon 1979), but the ranges of cheriway and plancus are nearly parapatric with no sign of intergradation, contrary to earlier interpretations (see Banks REF); they constitute a superspecies. The three forms had previously been considered separate species by REFS, Pinto (1938), and Friedmann (1950).”

Yellow-headed Caracara Milvago chimachima: Another widespread open country raptor that was
seen regularly in small numbers.

Laughing Falcon Herpetotheres cachinnans: Great views on consecutive days at the Paujil Reserve

American Kestrel Falco sparverius: Scattered sightings.


E Colombian Chachalaca Ortalis columbiana: 2 seen on the way to El Paujil and heard there daily

E Blue-billed Currasow – Crax alberti. Wow - A pair flushed just after dawn from their roosting tree and then the female seen repeatedly over a period of 30 minutes. Spectacular. The rate of deforestation in this species's range has been very rapid over the past decade, such that little habitat remains. It is projected that it could undergo an extremely rapid population reduction given increased access and hunting, and therefore qualifies as Critically Endangered. Crax alberti historically occurred in northern Colombia, from the base of the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta west to the Sinú valley and south in the Magdalena valley to north Tolima. Two of the few large lowland forest areas remaining in its range have produced recent records: two sites on the west slope of the Serranía de San Lucas, Antioquia and the Serranía de las Quinchas, Boyacá. Surveys conducted in 2003 suggest that the latter area holds the population stronghold of this species and contributed to the establishment of El Paujíl Bird Reserve. Named after Prince Albert, consort of Queen Victoria of Great Britain.CRITICALLY ENDANGERED


Crested Bobwhite Colinus cristatus:

Marbled Wood-Quail – Odontophorus gujanensis 2 seen at the Paujil reserve.

E Black-fronted Wood-Quail Odontophorus atrifrons*: Heard everyday at the RNA Hormiguero . Classified as Vulnerable by BirdLife International, the world population is estimated at 2,500 – 9,999 individuals and is decreasing. This species qualifies as Vulnerable owing to its small range and population, both of which must be declining in response to habitat loss. The range is small and fragmented with recent records from only one area. The Colombian East Andes have been subject to four centuries of extensive degradation, with progressive deforestation of the lower montane slopes. In Boyacá and Santander, however, where forest loss was gradual until the 1960s and 1970s, some sizeable tracts remain, and habitat is beginning to regenerate owing to land abandonment. The Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta is threatened by agricultural expansion, logging and burning. On the west slopes, marijuana plantations expanded widely in the 1980s, and were sprayed by the government with herbicides in the early 1990s. The Sierra de Perijá is heavily deforested up to 2,000m, by cattle-ranching at lower elevations and coca cultivation higher up. It is also hunted at least in some parts of its range. VULNERABLE

E Gorgeted Wood-Quail - Odontophorus stophium* Heard at the Cerulean Warbler Reserve. This species has an extremely small and severely fragmented range, with recent records from only two locations, where logging and hunting are probably causing some declines in range and population. CRITICALLY ENDANGERED


White-throated Crake Laterallus albigulari*: At the Paujil Reserve

E Bogota Rail Rallus semiplumbeus: A handsome endemic, allowing for several great views. The world population is estimated at 1,000 – 2,499 individuals and is decreasing because its range is very small and iscontracting owing to widespread habitat loss and degradation. ENDANGERED

Gray-necked Wood-Rail – Aramides cajanea


Wattled Jacana Jacana jacana:


Southern Lapwing Vanellus chilensis: Fairly widespread in small numbers.


Royal Tern Sterna maxima: A few at Santa Marta


Band-tailed Pigeon - Columba fasciata: Fairly common and widespread with many good views of perched birds. One of the most widespread New World birds, ranging from Alaska to Argentina. Here the Neotropical form albilinea, which has been regarded by some authors as a full species.

Scaled Pigeon - Columba speciosa: 2 seen in flight at lower elevations in the Santa Marta

Pale-vented Pigeon - Columba cayennensis: A few at the Paujil reserve.

Plumbeous Pigeon - Columba plumbea*

Ruddy Pigeon – Columba subvinacea*

Eared Dove - Zenaida auriculata: Common.

Common Ground-Dove - Columbina passerina A few here and there.

Ruddy Ground-Dove - Columbina talpacoti: Numerous and widespread in open country.

Picui Ground-Dove – Colombini picui

White-tipped Dove Leptotila verreauxi: Pretty common at many localities.

E Tolima Dove – Leptotila conoveri. Recently re-discovered- this species was heard commonly and 6 individulas seen above Ibague. Named after H.B. Conoveri US ornithologist and author. ENDANGERED

Lined Quail-Dove Geotrygon linearis: This shy dove was seen and heard a few times in the Santa
Marta mountains and Ocona.

Ruddy Quail-Dove Geotrygon montana: Common in the Santa Marta area


Red-bellied Macaw Ara severa: 4 at Serrania las Quinches.

Scarlet-fronted Parakeet Aratinga wagleri: Quite numerous in the lower reaches of the Santa Marta Mountains. Here the nominate race. Species in this genus, as well as Leptosittaca and those in Pyrrhura, often go by the name ‘conure’.

E Santa Marta Parakeet – Pyrrhura viridicauta One bird scoped for a long time at the higher elevations of the san Lorenzo Ridge and more flocks heard. ENDANGERED

Spectacled Parrotlet Forpus conspicillatus: A near-endemic that showed well in the coffee plantations at RNA Reinita Cielo Azul.

Orange-chinned Parakeet Brotogeris jugularis: Common and conspiucuous

E Saffron-headed Parrot – Pionopsitta pyrila. Two seen well in flight at Serrania de los Quinches and another big flock heard. NEAR THREATENED

Blue-headed Parrot Pionus menstruus: A few at Los Quinches.

Red-billed Parrot Pionus sordidus: Only seen in the Santa Marta Mountains, where it’s represented by
the endemic race saturatus. A species conspicuously absent from most of the remainder of the country.

Red-lored Parrot - Amazona autumnalis: A few at los Quinches and then at RNA Reinita Cielo Azul

Yellow-crowned Parrot - Amazona ochrocephala – 2 only at RNA El Paujil

Orange-winged Parrot – Anazonas amazonica – 2 at RNA Paujil

Scaly-naped Parrot – Amazonas mercenaria – Fairly common on the San Lorenzo Ridge

Mealy Parrot - Amazona farinosa: Fairly common at RNA El Paujil


Squirrel Cuckoo Piaya cayana: Regular encounters, with a total of eight noted during the tour.

Greater Ani Crotophaga major:

Smooth-billed Ani Crotophaga ani:

Striped Cuckoo Tapera naevia: Heard on a few occasions and seen very well once.


E Screech Owl sp. nov. – Megascops sp. Nov. Heard and seen daily near the El Dorado Lodge – this bird is still awaiting a formal description. Its voice is very different from its congeners

Great-horned Owl – Bubo virginianus*

Crested Owl – Lophostrix cristata* At RNA El Paujil

Megascops sp. nov


Pauraque Nyctidromus albicollis*: Heard at El Paujil

White-tailed Nightjar - Caprimulgus cayennensnis. - One seen pre-dawn at RNA Reinita Cielo Azul.


White-chested Swift – Cypseloides lemosi – a few, about 10, of this localized species at RNA El Paujil

White-collared Swift - Streptoprocne zonaris

Chestnut-collared Swift Streptoprocne rutilus: Small numbers noted at a few locations.

Band-rumped Swift Chaetura cinereiventris: 10 noted at near San Vicente

Short-tailed Swift Chaetura brachyura:

White-tipped Swift – Aeronautes montivagus



Rufous-breasted Hermit Glaucis hirsute - A couple of sightings

Band-tailed Barbthroat – Threnetes ruckeri A few sightings at the El Paujil Reserve

Green Hermit Phaethornis guy. A single noted above Ibague

Long-billed Hermit Phaethornis longirostris: This is the form that occurs in Central America as opposed to the one along the coast of Ecuador and extreme north Peru (“Baron’s Hermit”) Ridgely & Greenfield (2001) considered the subspecies baroni of western Ecuador and northwestern Peru to deserve recognition as a separate species from Phaethornis longirostris based on vocal and plumage differences. SACC proposal to recognize baroni as a separate species did not pass.

Pale-bellied Hermit - Phaethornis anthophilus: A single seen at the El Paujil reserve.

Sooty-capped Hermit - Phaethornis augusti A couple in the Santa Marta mountains.

Stripe-throated Hermit – Phaethornis striigularis 2 at the RNA El Paujil Reserve

Lazuline Saberwing – Campylopterus falcatus One seen repeatedly at the Recurve-billed Bushbird Reserve, A spectacular ranhe restricted species.

White-necked Jacobin Florisuga mellivora

Green Violetear Colibri thalassinus: Seen above Ibague and then on the San Lorenzo Ridge ‘Thalassinus’ is Latin for ‘sea green’.

Sparkling Violetear Colibri coruscans: Relatively scarce with just 2 in the Santa Marta mountains.

Black-throated Mango Anthracothorax nigricollis:

Red-billed Emerald Chlorostilbon gibsoni: A few were noted in the lower reaches of the Santa Marta
mountains around Minca and above Ibague. Species limits in the mellisugus group of taxa in Chlorostilbon are complex. At one extreme, Zimmer (1950d) and Schuchmann (1999) considered them all conspecific, including the canivetii group of Middle America. Chlorostilbon gibsoni (including nitens) was usually (e.g., Cory 1918, Peters 1945, Meyer de Schauensee 1970) considered a separate species ("Red-billed Emerald") from C. mellisugus, as was C. canivetii. Stiles (1996a) proposed that C. mellisugus should be treated as at least three separate species within South America: melanorhynchus (of western Colombia and Ecuador), gibsoni (northern and central Colombia, NW Venezuela), and mellisugus (rest of South America); this represents a partial return to the classification of Cory (1918) and was followed by Ridgely & Greenfield (2001). Together, these taxa would form a superspecies with recently described olivaresi. Sibley & Monroe (1990) considered C. mellisugus to form a superspecies with Middle American Chlorostilbon species but not with C. gibsoni, because the two were thought to be sympatric [are they? breeding?] in the Magdalena Valley, Colombia. SACC proposal passed to follow species limits proposed by Stiles (1996a).

E Coppery Emerald Chlorostilbon russatus: Replaces the former at higher elevations in the Santa Marta Mountains. One seen

Violet-crowned Woodnymph Thalurania colombica: Common

Violet –bellied Hummingbird – Damophila julie - A couple above Ibague

Shining-green Hummingbird – Lepodiopyga goudoti. Nice surprise to see this range restricted species in the Santa Marta mountains

Andean Emerald – Agyrtria franciae. Named for Francia Bourcier daughter of the French consul to Ecuador 1849-1850

Blue-chested Hummingbird – Polerata amabilis

Steely-vented Hummingbird – Saucerottia saucerottei

E Indigo-capped Hummingbird - Saucerottia cyanifrons

E Blossomcrown – Anthocephala floriceps One seen at lower elevations above Ibague VULNERABLE

Rufous-tailed Hummingbird Amazilia tzacatl: This common and widespread species was seen in small numbers.

White-vented Plumeleteer Chalybura buffonii:

Speckled Hummingbird Adelomyia melanogenys: Fairly common at the Cerulean Warbler Reserve.

Violet - fronted Brilliant Heliodoxa leadbeateri

Green-crowned Brilliant Heliodoxa jacula: A female was seen above Ibague

Mountain Velvetbreast Lafresnaya lafresnayi: One in the Santa Marta mountains.

Bronzy Inca Coeligena coeligena: One above Ibague

E Black Inca Coeligena prunellei: What a smashing bird! Good looks at this sought after species traplining in the Cerulen-capped Mankin reserve. ENDANGERED

E White-tailed Starfrontlet Coeligena phalerata : Another gorgous Hummer. A male of this Santa Marta endemic was seen repeatedly visiting flowers above the lodge

Booted Racket-tail Ocreatus underwoodii: We enjoyed a few encounters with this widespread but
attractive species.

Tyrian Metaltail Metallura tyrianthina: We saw both the reddish-tailed nominate race in all three
Andean chains, and the very distinct and blue-tailed districta, endemic to the Santa Marta and Perijá mountains.

Long-tailed Sylph Aglaiocercus kingi

E Santa Marta Woodstar – Chaetocercus astreans. Seen on all days from the balcny of the El Dorado Lodge in the Santa Marta Mountains and a couple lower on the last day. Can be tricky to see,


White-tipped Quetzal Pharomachrus fulgidus: Superb views of several birds in the San Lorenzo area.
One of the species shared between the Santa Marta Mountains and Venezuela’s coastal cordilleras.

Golden-headed Quetzal Pharomachrus auriceps: Seen at the Cerulean Warbler Reserve

Western White-tailed Trogon Trogon chionurus: Two at the El Paujil Reserve Formerly lumped in Amazonian White-tailed Trogon T. viridis, Western White-tailed. The South American Checklist committee says “Ridgely & Greenfield (2001) considered the subspecies chionurus of the Chocó region to be a separate species from Trogon viridis; followed by Hilty (2003); SACC proposal to recognize this split did not pass because of insufficient published data. This Trogon ranges from Panama into western Ecuador.

Collared Trogon Trogon collaris . 4 seen well at the Cerulean Warbler Reserve

Black-tailed Trogon – Trogon melanurus One at the El Paujil Reserve

Masked Trogon Trogon personatus: A highland version of the former and it was partuclarly common in the Santa Marta Mountains.

Northern Violaceous Trogon Trogon caligatus: Several at the El Paujil reserve. The SACC says “Ridgely & Greenfield (2001) considered caligatus of Middle America and northwestern South America to be a separate species from Trogon violaceus, and this was followed by Hilty (2003); SACC proposal to recognize this split did not pass because of insufficient published data.


Ringed Kingfisher Ceryle torquata: Small numbers at various wetlands. Note that these species are
now often treated as part of a separate family, the Cerylidae.

Green Kingfisher Chloroceryle americana: Also seen on the pond at Hacienda Napoles and a couple
on Isla Salamanca.


Highland Motmot Momotus aequatorialis: Common and conspicuous in the El Cairo area and at La
Suiza. The SACC says - Momotus momota may consist of several species-level taxa (e.g., Ridgely & Greenfield 2001). The subspecies aequatorialis, venezuelae, subrufescens, microstephanus, and argenticinctus were all formerly (e.g., Ridgway 1914, Cory 1919) considered separate species from M. momota, as were two Middle American taxa. Chapman (1923) recognized four species in South America: M. subrufescens (including "venezuelae") of the Caribbean rim of northern South America, M. bahamensis of Trinidad, M. aequatorialis of the Andes, and M. momota (including microstephanus) of the rest of South America, including argenticinctus of western Ecuador and northwestern Peru. Peters (1945) considered them all conspecific, and this was followed by Meyer de Schauensee (1970) and AOU (1983, 1998). Fjeldså & Krabbe (1990) proposed that the Andean form aequatorialis was a separate species from M. momota, and this was followed by Ridgely & Greenfield (2001) and Dickinson (2003), thus returning to the classification of Cory (1919) and Chapman (1923, 1926). However, no formal analysis has ever been published, and the published evidence in support of treating aequatorialis as a species-level taxon is weak. SACC proposal passed for treating aequatorialis as conspecific with M. momota (and we hope that this decision stimulates further research on the M. momota complex).

Rufous Motmot – Baryphthengus martii Common at Serrania Las Quinches

Broad-billed Motmot – Electron platyrynchum One seen well at Serrania Los Quinches. Electron is Greek for the color amber


Rufous-tailed Jacamar Galbula ruficauda:


Barred Puffbird Nystalus radiatus: A pair showed pretty well at Serrania las Quinches and then one on the way to Ocona

Moustached Puffbird – Malocoptila myesticalis*

White-fronted Nunbird – Monasa albifrons


E White-mantled Barbet Capito hypoleucus: One at the Cerulean Warbler Reserve and excellent looks at a displaying pair at Serrania las Quinches A so-called Nechí endemic, confined to the humid forests of the middle Magdalena Valley. The Nechí is actually a tributary of the Cauca river, its drainage being on the east side of the top end of the Central Andes but west of the though technically it really isn’t. Classified as Endangered by BirdLife International, the world population is estimated at 2,500 – 9,999 individuals and is decreasing. This species has a very small and severely fragmented range. Habitat loss is occurring rapidly in some parts of its range, and the population is likely to be declining. As a result of this combination of factors. ENDANGERED


Yellow-billed Toucanet Aulacorhynchus calorhynchus: At Santa Marta. The taxon calorhynchus was formerly (e.g., Cory 1919, Peters 1948, Phelps & Phelps 1958a, Meyer de Schauensee 1970) treated as a separate species ("Yellow-billed Toucanet") from Aulacorhynchus sulcatus, but in their area of contact in Venezuela, only individuals with intermediate bill characters are found (Schwartz 1972b); still treated as separate species by Hilty (2003).

Andean Toucanet Aulacorhynchus albivitta: Seen at Ibague and the Cerulean Warbler reserve. The SACC says - Ridgely & Greenfield (2001) suggested that Aulacorhynchus prasinus (Emerald Toucanet) may consist of more than one species-level taxon, but see Short & Horne (2001), who pointed out that the allopatric taxa are no more distinctive than those known to intergrade. The subspecies lautus, albivitta, cyanolaemus, dimidiatus, and atrogularis, as well as Middle American wagleri and caeruleogularis, were formerly (e.g., Ridgway 1914, Cory 1919) each considered separate species from (and in some cases not particularly closely related to) Aulacorhynchus prasinus, but Peters (1948) and Haffer (1974) treated them all as conspecific. [add synopsis of Navarro et al. (2001) -- proposal needed]

E Santa Marta Toucanet Aulacorhynchus lautus: Common in the Santa Marta Mountains

Keel-billed Toucan – Ramphastos sulfuratus One in the Santa Marta mountains

Citron-throated Toucan – Ramphastos citrolaemus Heard commonly and one seen at Serrania de los Qinches. The SACC says - Cory (1919) and Meyer de Schauensee (1966, 1970) considered R. culminatus ("Yellow-ridged Toucan") and R. citrolaemus ("Citron-throated Toucan") as separate species from Ramphastos vitellinus. Haffer (1974) treated these as a subspecies of R. vitellinus, and this treatment, actually a partial return to the classification of Pinto (1937) and Peters (1948), has been followed by most subsequent authors (but not Sibley & Monroe 1990, Hilty 2003).

Black-mandibled Toucan Ramphastos ambiguus:Seen daily at Serrania de los Qinches.


Olivaceous Piculet Picumnus olivaceus: Common

Acorn Woodpecker Melanerpes formicivorus: 3 noisy birds at the Cerulean Warbler reserve. This species is strictly tied to the geographical distribution of Quercus oaks. The latter don’t range any further into South- America, and consequently the woodpecker doesn’t either. Colombian birds belong to the endemic race flavigula, in which males have the red confined to the hindcrown (as in
females of other races), whereas the female lacks the red altogether.

E Beautifull Woodpecker - Melanerpes pulcher – 2 seen very well at the El Paujil Reserve. A Colombian endemic. The SACC says “The Colombian taxon pulcher was considered a separate species from Central American Melanerpes chrysauchen by Cory (1919), Eisenmann (1955), and Stiles & Skutch (1989); however, Peters (1948) treated them as conspecific, and that treatement has been followed by most subsequent authors (e.g., Meyer de Schauensee 1979, Short 1982, Hilty & Brown 1986, Winkler et al. 1995, AOU 1998, Winkler & Christie 2002, Dickinson 2003). Wetmore (1968) provided rationale for treating pulcher as a separate species, as noted by Meyer de Schauensee (1966), but this has not been followed by most subsequent authors. SACC proposal passed to recognize pulcher as separate species.

Little Woodpecker – Venilornis passerinus*

Golden-Olive Woodpecker – Piculus rubiginosus

Spot-breasted Woodpecker – Colaptes punctigula Colaptes atricollis, C. punctigula, and C. melanochloros were formerly (e.g., Cory 1919, Pinto 1937, Peters 1948, Phelps & Phelps 1958a, Meyer de Schauensee 1970) treated in a separate genus, Chrysoptilus, but Short (1965, 1972a, 1982) merged this into Colaptes. However, plumage similarities of these three species to Piculus suggests that further study may reveal a closer relationship to that genus ; in fact, recent genetic data with limited taxon-sampling suggest that Piculus and South American Colaptes are more closely related to each other than either is to North American Colaptes (Prychitko & Moore 2000, Weibel & Moore 2002a, b; see also Webb & Moore 2005). Ridgely & Greenfield (2001) and Hilty (2003) retained Chrysoptilus for punctigula only.

Cinnamon Woodpecker – Celeus loricatus. An attractive woodpecker seen at the El Paujil Reserve

Lineated Woodpecker – Dryocopus lineatus

Crimson-crested Woodpecker Campephilus melanoleucos: A few at the El Paujil Reserve


Azara’s Spinetail Synallaxis azarae: Fairly commonly

Silvery-throated Spinetail Synallaxis subpudica: Great views of a pair that were called in at Laguna de

Streak-capped Spinetail

Pale-breasted Spinetail Synallaxis albescens: This open country spinetail was seen repeatedly at Serrania de los Quinches

E Rusty-headed Spinetail Synallaxis fuscorufa: A numerous and attractive Santa Marta endemic, the world population is not known but is thought to be decreasing. This species has a small range and population, which is fragmented and declining due to habitat destruction caused by illegal agriculture, logging and burning. Intensification of these pressures, and hence increased inferred rates of population decline have led to its up listing to Vulnerable. It may even warrant up listing to Endangered once more detailed information on rates of forest loss becomes available. VULNERABLE

Slaty Spinetail Synallaxis brachyura : Seen very well in the Ibague area but not again.

Stripe-breasted Spinetail – Synallaxis cinnamomea. Failrly common and the Bushbird reserve

E Streak-capped Spinetail Cranioleuca hellmayri: Another localized spinetail (endemic to the Santa Marta Mountains and Sierra de Perijá) that showed very well indeed and was in the garden of lodge every day.

Spotted Barbtail Premnoplex brunnescens*

Pearled Treerunner Margarornis squamiger: Seen only above Ibague

Montane Foliage-gleaner Anabacerthia striaticollis: Common in the Santa Marta mountains and some seen elsewhere

Streak-capped Treehunter Thripadectes virgaticeps: 2 seen well above Ibague

Lineated Foliage-gleaner – Syndactyla subalaris

Rufous-tailed Folige-gleaner – Philidor ruficaudatus One in the Santa Marta Mountains

E Santa Marta (Ruddy) Foliage-gleaner – Automolus (rubiginosus) rufipectus. A distinct endemic form found only in the Santa Marta Mountains seems to be a separate species but work on this is only now being done.

Gray-throated Leaftosser – Sclerurus albigularis – In the Santa Marta Mountains

Streaked Xenops Xenops rutilans: At Ibague and the Cerulean Warbler Reserve. The form found in the Central and Western Andes is heterurus.

Plain Xenops Xenops minutus: One at the El Paujil Reserve


Tyrannine Woodcreeper Dendrocincla tyrannina*

Olivaceous Woodcreeper Sittasomus griseicapillus perijanus A couple at the Cerulean Warbler Reserve. The SACC says “Sittasomus griseicapillus almost certainly consists of multiple species (Hardy et al. 1991, Ridgely & Tudor 1994, Parker et al. 1995, Ridgely & Greenfield 2001, Hilty 2003), with at least five subspecies groups possibly deserving separate species status (Marantz et al. 2003).” In Bolivia its viridis. In Manu Peru it’s amazonas, in the west of N Peru and Ecuador its aequatorialis, and in SE Brazil it’s sylviellus and there are more. Watch this taxon for splits.

Wedge-billed Woodcreeper Glyphorynchus spirurus: One at Serrania de los Quinches

Strong-billed Woodcreeper Xiphocolaptes promeropirhynchus*

Northern Barred Woodcreepr – Dendrocolpates santithomae punctipectus* The SACC says Dendrocolaptes sanctithomae was formerly (e.g., Peters 1951, Meyer de Schauensee 1970) considered conspecific with D. certhia (Amazon Barred Woodcreeper), but Willis (1992) and Marantz (1997) provided evidence that they should be treated as separate species; they constitute a superspecies. Marantz et al. (2003) noted that the southeastern subspecies punctipectus might also deserve treatment as a separate species from Dendrocolaptes sanctithomae.

Black-banded Woodcreeper Dendrocolaptes picumnus: Commonly heard and seen in the santa Marta Mountains

Cocoa Woodcreeper – Xiphorynchus susurrans. Fairly common at various sites. The SACC says -The relationships among taxa included in Xiphorhynchus susurrans and X. guttatus are complex and need much additional work. Xiphorhynchus susurrans was formerly (e.g., Zimmer 1934d, Phelps & Phelps 1950a, Peters 1951, Meyer de Schauensee 1970) considered conspecific with X. guttatus, but Willis (1983) provided evidence that it should be treated as a separate species; this treatment was followed by Ridgely & Tudor (1994) and AOU (1998); they constitute a superspecies. Xiphorhynchus susurrans had previously been treated as a species by Cory & Hellmayr (1925), who also treated the subspecies polystictus (= sororius) as a separate species; this was considered conspecific with X. guttatus by Zimmer (1934d) and Peters (1951). However, Aleixo (2002) found that treating X. susurrans at the species level makes Xiphorhynchus guttatus paraphyletic with respect to Amazonian guttatoides group (Lafraneye’s Woodcreeper) of western and southwestern Amazonia (guttatoides, dorbignyianus, eytoni, and vicinalis) and eastern Amazonian guttatus group (guttatus, polystictus, and provisionally, connectens). Marantz et al. (2003) also emphasized that the current assignment of subspecies to either X. susurrans or X. guttatus does not correspond to the boundaries in vocalizations. Furthermore, the eytoni subspecies group was formerly (e.g., Todd 1948, Meyer de Schauensee 1966, 1970) considered a separate species ("Dusky-billed Woodcreeper") from X. guttatus; here it is treated as subspecies of guttatus following Cory & Hellmayr (1925), Zimmer (1934d), Pinto (1937), Peters (1951), and Ridgely & Tudor (1994), but Marantz et al. (2003) noted that this group differed in vocalizations from other taxa included in X. guttatus. Proposal needed?

Black-striped Woodcreeper – Xiphorynchus lachrymosus. One of this mainly Central American species at the El Paujil reserve

Straight-billed Woodcreeper Xiphorhynchus picus: Several seen in open country.

Streak-headed Woodcreeper Lepidocolaptes souleyetii: An open country species that was seen in dry
open forest.

Montane Woodcreeper Lepidocolaptes lacrymiger: This attractive and well-marked woodcreeper was
regularly seen in the Western and Central Andes (the endemic sneiderni race ), and also in the
Santa Marta mountains (the endemic sanctaemartae race).

Brown-billed Scythebill Campylorhamphus pusillus - great studies of a bird above Ibague and then heard in the Recurvebill reserve


Great Antshrike – Taraba major

Black-crested Antshrike Sakesphorus canadensis – a few here and there seen and heard

Black-backed Antshrike Sakesphorus melanonotus: Great looks at a male and female in the Minca area.

Barred Antshrike Thamnophilus doliatus*

Bar-crested Antshrike Thamnophilus multistriatus: Great views of birds above Ibague and then in the coffee at the Cereulean Warbler Reserve A near-endemic, generally replacing the previous at higher elevations (though the Barred we saw was above the Bar-crested!!). Outside Colombia only known from the Venezuelan side of the Sierra de Perijá.

Black Antshrike – Thamnophilus nigriceps Loclalized species –we eventually tracked one down at the El Paujil Reserve

Uniform Antshrike Thamnophilus unicolor: Good looks and fairly common in the Cerulean Warbler Reserve. The subspecies in Colombia is grandior.

Western Slaty-Antshrike Thamnophilus atrinucha: Fairly common at the Serrania de los Quinches

Recurve-billed Bushbird – Clytoctantes alixii – Wow – what can you say - a very co-operative male seen at the reserve near Ocona bought for its protection and also heard there the next day. This species has been recently rediscovered in both Venezuela and Colombia, following 40 years without any records. Its range and population are poorly known, but presumed to be very small. Habitat loss is continuing throughout its range, and has been rapid over the last five years in an area that was probably a stronghold. Consequently its range and population are inferred to be declining. Maed after the French zoologist Edouard Alix ENDANGERED

Plain Antvireo Dysithamnus mentalis: A couple seen above Ibague

Slaty Antwren Myrmotherula schisticolor: A couple at the Cerluean Warbler Reserve

Long-winged Antwren – Myrmotherula longipennis

White-fringed Antwren – Myrmotherula grisea One on the way to san Vicente

Long-tailed Antbird Drymophila caudata: Only seen at Rio Blanco where we saw the nominate
subspecies well.

Jet Antbird Cercomacra nigricans: One vocal most days at the El Paujil Reserve and seen very well there

E Parker’s Antbird Cercomacra parkeri: Recently described: Graves (1997).Took a bit of finding but eventually great looks at a pair at the Cerulean Warbler Reserve and heard there next day. One of the birds named for our late friend Ted Parker.

Bare-crowned Antbird – Gymnocichla nudiceps. Fairly common striking Antbird at the El Paujil Reserve

Chestnut-backed Antbird - Myrmeciza exsul – Seen well at the El Paujil Reserve

Dull-mantled Antbird - Myrmeciza laemosticta - A pair responded splendidly to playback at the El Paujil reserve.

Immaculate Antbird – Myrmeciza immaculata. One male responded well to palyaback above Ibague


Chestnut-crowned Antpitta Grallaria ruficapilla*

E Santa Marta Antpitta Grallaria bangsi: Great looks on the San Lorenzo Ridge and heard daily. The world population is not known but is thought to be decreasing. This species has been up listed to Vulnerable because new information suggests that it has a small range, which is fragmented and declining owing to habitat destruction caused by illegal agriculture, logging and burning. It is currently described as common, but its population size is unknown. However, it is likely to be undergoing a rapid decline as a result of habitat loss. Named after Outram Bangs US ornithologist and author. VULNERABLE

Bicolored Antpitta Grallaria hypoleuca: One seen splendidly at the Cerulean Warbler Reserve and heard daily there

Rusty-breasted Antpitta Grallaricula ferrugineipectus: We enjoyed fantastic views of a tame pair in the Santa Marta mountains. Ridgely & Tudor (1984) suspected that G. ferrugineipectus might consist of more than one species. Krabbe & Schulenberg (2003a) indicated that vocal differences suggest that the southern subspecies leymebambae deserves recognition as a separate species.

Slate-crowned Antpitta Grallaricula nana (H): Heard at Rio Blanco, our rather brief attempts to lure
this one into view were unsuccessful.


E Santa Marta Tapaculo Scytalopus sanctaemartae: We enjoyed a fantastic response from of this Santa
Marta endemic, beautifully showing its little white crown patch has it scurried along in the open for us.

Blackish Tapaculo Scytalopus latrans:

E Brown-rumped Tapaculo Scytalopus latebricola: Another Santa Marta endemic, replacing the Santa
Marta Tapaculo at higher elevations, that we saw very well above San Lorenzo.

White-rumped Tapaculo – Scytalopus atratus nigicans. Seen well above Ibague

E Tapaculo sp nov. – Scytalopus sp.nov. An unknown Tapaculo was sen and recorded at the Cerulean Warbler Reserve


Red-crested Cotinga – Ampelion rubrocristata. 4 seen in the Santa Marta mountains

Golden-breasted Fruiteater Pipreola aureopectus: This gorgeous fruiteater was seen well in the Santa
Marta Mountains. Here the race decora, endemic to this mountain range.

Purple-throated Fruitcrow Querula purpurata: A few at the El Paujil reserve

Andean Cock of the Rock – Rupicola peruviana


Yellow-headed Manakin – Xenopipo holochlora. A big surprise to see this loclaized near enedemic above Ibague. Xenopipo flavicapilla is locally distributed in south-west Colombia, where it is known from both slopes of the West Andes, in Cauca and Valle del Cauca, the west slope of the north Central Andes in Antioquia, and at the head of the río Magdalena valley in Huila. It also occurs on the east slope of the Andes in west Napo and, at least formerly, Tungurahua, Ecuador. It is patchily distributed and rare to uncommon in suitable habitat. There are relatively few recent records, though it is very inconspicuous and perhaps overlooked2. It is confined to the lower growth of montane forest and mature secondary woodland, at 1-8 m up in vegetation, occasionally associating with mixed-species flocks. Much of its range is within prime agricultural land, some of which has already been cleared, and the rest is probably threatened. Xenopipo holochlora, was formerly (e.g., Hellmayr 1929, Phelps & Phelps 1950a, Meyer de Schauensee 1970) placed in a separate genus, Chloropipo; for its merger into Xenopipo, see Prum (1992); they were considered to form a superspecies by Snow (1979c).

White-bearded Manakin Manacus manacus: Quite a few seen well in the El Paujil Reserve

Western Striped Manakin Machaeropterus striolatus: Good looks at an obliging female at the El Paujil reserve, here of the endemic race antioquiae (named after the Antioquia Department, in the eastern part of which Rio Claro is located, and of which Medellín is the capital).

Wing-barred Piprites) Piprites chloris*

Greater Schiffornis Schiffornis major*

Thrush-like Schiffornis Schiffornis turdinus*

Barred Becard Pachyramphus versicolor: One female above Ibague

Cinereous Becard Pachyramphus rufus: One at the El Paujil Reserve

Cinnamon Becard Pachyramphus cinnamomeus: Fairly common at Serrnia de los Quinches

White-winged Becard – Pachyramphus polychopterus

Masked Tityra – Tityra semifasciatus

Black-crowned Tityra – Tityra inquisitor

Santa Marta Bush-tyrant


Brown-capped Tyrranulet – Ornithion brunneicapillus*

Sooty-headed Tyrannulet Phyllomyias griseiceps: As with so many of this family, much easier to find
with your ears than your eyes. Seen and heard at serrnaia de los Quinches.

Black-capped Tyrannulet Phyllomyias nigrocapillus: One above Ibague

Venezuelan Tyrannulet – Zimmerius improbus – A couple at lower elevations in the Santa Marta mountains. The SACC says - Sibley & Monroe (1990) and Ridgely & Tudor (1994), followed by Hilty (2003) and Fitzpatrick (2004), considered the South American improbus group of subspecies to be a separate species from Zimmerius vilissimus (Paltry Tyrranulet). Proposal badly needed. Traylor (1982) suspected that the subspecies parvus, from Honduras to NW Colombia, should also be considered a separate species.

Golden-faced Tyrannulet Zimmerius chrysops: Seen at various loclaities. Variation in Golden-faced Tyrannulet subspecies is reasonably extensive and more than one species may be involved. Ridgely & Greenfield (2001) considered the subspecies flavidifrons of southwestern Ecuador and northwestern Peru to represent a separate species from Zimmerius chrysops based on differences in voice. Proposal needed. Ridgely & Greenfield (2001), Krabbe & Nielsson (2003), and Fitzpatrick (2004) also noted that the taxon albigularis from w. Ecuador and sw. Colombia might be a species distinct from Zimmerius chrysops.

Southern Beardless Tyrannulet Camptostoma obsoletum

Yellow-crowned Tyrannulet Tyrannulus elatus: fairly common at various sites.

Forest Elaenia Myiopagis gaimardii: Good views of 2 in the Santa Marta Mountains

Greenish Elaenia – Myiopagis viridcauta restricta – a few above Ibague

Yellow-bellied Elaenia Elaenia flavogaster: Common in open country

Lesser Elaenia – Elaenia chiriquiensis

Mountain Elaenia Elaenia frantzii: At Ibague and in Santa Marta. The subspecies we saw was pudica. The species was named after Alexander von Frantzius, a nineteenth century German collector in Brazil and Costa Rica.

White-throated Tyrannulet Mecocerculus leucophrys: We saw the subspecies montensis which is
endemic to the Santa Marta Mountains.

Streak-necked Flycatcher Mionectes striaticollis

Olive-striped Flycatcher Mionectes olivaceus: Several seen well in the Santa Marta Mountains where
they are represented by the endemic subspecies galbinus.

Ochre-bellied Flycatcher Mionectes oleaginea: Common at the El Paujil Reserve

Sepia-capped Flycatcher Leptopogon amaurocephalus: Small numbers seen well at Serrania de los Quinches

Slaty-capped Flyctacher – Leptopogon superciliaris. At the Cerulean Warbler Reserve

E Antioquia Bristle-Tyrant Phylloscartes lanyoni: Good looks at a very responsive bird at the El Puajil reserve. A Nechí endemic only described about two decades ago. Classified as Endangered by BirdLife International, the world population is estimated at 1,000 – 2,499 individuals and is decreasing. It has a very small, severely fragmented range, within which habitat loss is occurring at a rapid rate. Its population is assumed to be very small and declining, and made up of extremely small subpopulations. ENDANGERED

Scale-crested Pygmy-Tyrant - Lophotriccus pileatus: Common above Ibague and also at Cerulean Warbler Reserve

Pale-eyed Pygmy-Tyrant Atalotriccus pilaris: This tyrannid of dryer woodland, was seen nicely in the Minca area. Here the nominate race.

Southern Bentbill Oncostoma olivaceum: A weird little flycatcher, which we saw extremely well
on a couple of occasions ay Quinches.

Black-throated Tody-Tyrant Hemitriccus granadensis: One in the Santa Marta mountains. of the endemic subspecies lehmanni.

Black-headed Tody-Flycatcher Todirostrum nigriceps: at Minca.

Slate-headed Tody-tyrant – Todirostrum sylvia - a few here and there.

Common Tody-Flycatcher Todirostrum cinereum: Small numbers seen at various locations.

Yellow-olive Tolmomyias Tolmomyias sulphurescens:The SACC says - The AOU (1998), Hilty (2003), and Fitzpatrick (2004) suggested that Tolmomyias sulphurescens almost certainly consists of multiple species

Yellow-margined Tolmomyias – Tolmomyias assimilis The SACC says - Ridgely & Greenfield (2001), followed by Hilty (2003), considered populations of Central America and trans-Andean South America to represent a separate species, T. flavotectus; they restricted the name "Yellow-margined Flycatcher/Flatbill" to the latter and called the Amazonian species "Zimmer's Flatbill." Proposal needed. The latter is also likely to consist of more than one species (see Ridgely & Greenfield 2001). Fitzpatrick (2004) concluded that further research was needed before any changes are made to current species limits.

Yellow-throated Spadebill – Platyrinchus falvigularis Good looks in response to playback of this seldom seen cloud forest inhabitant at the Cerulean Warbler Reserve

Ornate Flycatcher Myiotriccus ornatus: Nice looks for most of us at this rather colourful flycatcher at the Cerulean Warbler Reserve

Flavescent Flycatcher Myiophobus flavicans: One above Ibague

Bran-colored Flycatcher – Myiophobus fasciatus fasciatus. The subspecies rufescens of arid western Peru and northern Chile was formerly (e.g., Cory & Hellmayr 1927) considered a separate species from Myiophobus fasciatus, but Zimmer (1939c) and Koepcke (1961) reported specimens that showed signs of intergradation between rufescens and M. f. crypterythrus (cf. Ridgely & Tudor 1994); thus, Meyer de Schauensee (1966) considered them conspecific, and this has been followed by subsequent authors. Jaramillo (2003), however, suggested that rufescens should be considered a separate species.

Olive-chested Flycatcher – Myiophobos cryptoxabthus

Cinnamon Flycatcher Pyrrhomyias cinnamomea: Regularly encountered in the Andes (pyrrhoptera), and in the Santa Marta Mountains we saw the endemic and much brighter assimilis.

Black-billed Flycatcher – Aphanotriccus audax A little known bird almost endemic to Colombia, but it does get into the Darien in Panama. We saw different indicidulas on two consecutive days at El Paujil.

Tropical Pewee Contopus cinereus:

Smoke-coloured Pewee Contopus fumigatus*

Black Phoebe Sayornis nigricans: A bird of streams and rivers that was frequently seen sitting on

Vermilion Flycatcher Pyrocephalus rubinus: Small numbers seen at a number of sites.

Slaty-backed Chat-Tyrant Ochthoeca cinnamomeiventris: We had very good views of the nominate subspecies above Ibague. Note that the form nigrita from the Merida Andes in Venezuela is sometimes split off as Blackish Chat-Tyrant O. nigrita and thoracica of southern Peru and Bolivia is generally split off as Chestnut-belted (or Maroon-belted) Chat-Tyrant O. thoracica. The SACC says - García-Moreno et al. (1998) suggested that the plumage and genetic differences between subspecies groups north and south of the Marañon should be recognized at the species level, with Ochthoeca thoracica the name for the southern species. Ridgely & Tudor (1994) reported that there are also vocal differences that would support this split. Ridgely & Greenfield (2001) and Hilty (2003) further recognized Venezuelan nigrita as a separate species from O. cinnamomeiventris, as done by Cory & Hellmayr (1927); see Zimmer (1937b) for the rationale for treating them all as conspecific based on plumage pattern, the treatment followed by Fitzpatrick (2004). Proposal needed.

Yellow-bellied Chat-Tyrant Ochthoeca diadema: We had great looks at this around San Lorenzo where the subspecies jesupi is endemic to the Santa Marta Mountains.

E Santa Marta Bush-Tyrant Myiotheretes pernix: Often a difficult bird to find, we saw one above San Lorenzo, which showed at extremely close range. The world population is estimated at 1,000 – 2,499 individuals and is decreasing. This species has a very small range and is currently known from just one location (although there are likely to be others). Its habitat is declining, and concomitant declines in range and population are inferred. ENDANGERED

Rufous-tailed Tyrant – Knipolegus poecilurus. One above Ibague

Pied Water-Tyrant Fluvicola pica. On the way to the Paujil reserve

White-headed Marsh-Tyrant Arundinicola leucocephala: On the way to the Paujil reserve

Cattle Tyrant Machetornis rixosus: First seen at Laguna Pedro Palo on the first morning, this speciesis expanding its range, and we noted scattered individuals in open country at a number of

Flammulated Attila - Attila flammulatus. (Mexico south to Western Ecuador) – a potential split from Bright-rumped Attila. The SACC says - Leger and Mountjoy (2003) found major vocal differences between South American and Middle American populations of Attila spadiceus, strongly suggesting that at least two species are involved, but did not adequately sample populations from west of Andes in South America; these are vocally similar to the Middle American flammulatus group (P. Coopmans, pers. comm.). Proposal needed?

Panama Flycatcher Myiarchus panamensis: One only

Dusky-capped Flycatcher Myiarchus tuberculifer: As usual, the plaintive call was heard more often
than the bird was seen.

E Apical Flyctacher – Myirachus apicalis. 2 birds seen and recorded above Ibague – a very rare localized endemic

Great Kiskadee Pitangus sulphuratus: A widespread bird of open areas, even found right in the centre
of towns.

Boat-billed Flycatcher Megarynchus pitangua: Small numbers.

Rusty-margined Flycatcher Myiozetetes cayanensis: Numerous and widespread at lower elevations.

Social Flycatcher - Myiozetetes similis: Just 2 above Ibague

Streaked Flycatcher - Myiodynastes maculatus:

Golden-crowned Flycatcher Myiodynastes chrysocephalus: fairly common at various loclaities

Piratic Flycatcher Legatus leucophaius: Vocal and easily seen. Small but fierce, and so-called because of its habit of harassing other bird species in order to appropriating their newly finished nest for their own use.

Tropical Kingbird Tyrannus melancholicus


Brown-chested Martin – Progne tapera. A few near Ocona

Gray-breasted Martin Progne chalybea: Reasonably numerous at lower elevations.

Brown-bellied Swallow Notiochelidon murina:

Blue-and-white Swallow Notiochelidon cyanoleuca: Widespread in small numbers at higher

Southern Rough-winged Swallow Stelgidopteryx ruficollis:


Black-chested Jay Cyanocorax affinis: A smart bird seen at the El Paujil Reserve and in the Santa Marta Mountains.

Inca Jay Cyanocorax yncas: A most handsome bird. Ridgely & Greenfield (2001) and Hilty (2003) treated Middle American populations as a separate species, C. luxosus ("Green Jay") from South American C. yncas ("Inca Jay"), but no data presented; they were formerly (e.g., REFS) considered separate species.


Bicolored Wren Campylorhynchus griseus: A large and handsome wren, and a cousin of Central America’s Rufous-naped and Mexico’s Giant Wrens. Good shows at our lodge in the Cerulean Warbler Reserve.

Band-backed Wren Campylorhynchus zonatus: Seen near San Vicente

Black-bellied Wren Thryothorus fasciatoventris: Great views of a pair at the El Paujil Reserve

Whiskered Wren Thryothorus mystacalis: Common above Ibague and at the Cerulean Warbler Reserve

Rufous-breasted Wren Thryothorus rutilus: Godd looks below Mindo here of the race laetus.

Speckle-breasted Wren Thryothorus sclateri * Here the isolated race columbianus, which may represent a separate species.

Rufous-and-white Wren Thryothorus rufalbus: A bird with an unforgettable song, that we saw at the Cerulean Warbler Reserve in the coffee plantations

Buff-breasted Wren Thryothorus leucotis: Another species that was pretty easy to see along the Caribbean coast where we saw the subspecies venezuelanus.

Southern House Wren Troglodytes (aedon) musculus: Common and widespread. Many authors (e.g., Hellmayr 1934, Pinto 1944, Phelps & Phelps 1950a) formerly treated Neotropical mainland populations as a separate species T. musculus; see also Brumfield and Capparella (1996); this treatment was followed by Brewer (2001) and Kroodsma & Brewer (2005). The Falklands population, T. a. cobbi, might also be best treated as a species (Wood 1993), as was done by Brewer (2001), Mazar Barnett & Pearman (2001), Jaramillo (2003), and Kroodsma & Brewer (2005);

White-breasted Wood-Wren Henicorhina leucosticta

Grey-breasted Wood-Wren Henicorhina leucophrys: Regularly heard at higher elevations with a number of good views.

Southern Nightingale-Wren Microcerculus marginatus*

Song Wren – Cyphorhinus phaeocephalus* At Serrania de Los Quinches


Tropical Mockingbird Mimus gilvus: An open country species.


Andean Solitaire Myadestes ralloides - Seen daily above Ibague

Orange-billed Nightingale-Thrush - Catharus aurantiirostris*

Slaty-backed Nightingale-Thrush Catharus fuscater: Seen on the San Lorenzo ridge. The endemic subspecies sanctaemartae is darker than most.

Yellow-legged Thrush Platycichla flaviceps: Common in the Santa Marta Mountains and at Ocona where the subspecies is venezuelensis.

Great Thrush Turdus fuscater: Ubiquitous at higher elevations. We saw quindio (endemic) in the Central and Western Andes, and cacozelus (a very pale subspecies that is also endemic) in the Santa Marta Mountains.

Black-hooded Thrush Turdus olivater: A few on the San Lorenzo ridge at middle elevations in the Santa Marta Mountains, of the endemic race sanctaemartae.

Chestnut-bellied Thrush – Turdus fulviventris Seen at the Bushbird Reserve

Pale-breasted Thrush Turdus leucomelas: Relatively common.

Black-billed Thrush Turdus ignobilis: Fairly common in the lowlands


Long-billed Gnatwren Ramphocaenus melanurus: One near Mindo showed well.


Rufous-browed Peppershrike Cyclarhis gujanensis At least two seen.

Red-eyed (Chivi) Vireo - Vireo (chivi) olivaceus: Some classifications (e.g., Pinto 1944) have considered the South American chivi group as a separate species ("Chivi Vireo") from V. olivaceus, or as conspecific with V. flavoviridis (Hamilton 1962), but see Hellmayr (1935), Zimmer (1941d), Eisenmann 1962a, Johnson & Zink (1985), and Ridgely & Tudor (1989). Ridgely & Greenfield (2001) suggested, however, that more than one species may be involved within the South American chivi group.

Brown-capped Vireo Vireo leucophrys:

Rufous-naped Greenlet Hylophilus semibrunneus: Small numbers of this distinctive, snazzy greenlet were recorded.

Golden-fronted Greenlet Hylophilus aurantiifrons: Our best views were below Minca.

Scrub Greenlet Hylophilus flavipes: Fairly common here and there and very vocal


Slate-throated Whitestart Myioborus miniatus: A common, widespread and delightful
resident of the montane forests.

E Yellow-crowned Whitestart Myioborus flavivertex: We saw plenty of these delightful birds around San Lorenzo – it is one of the most conspicuous Santa Marta endemics. Slightly atypical for a Myioborus whitestart, being somewhat slow and deliberate in its movements and almost (Basileuterus) warbler-like in appearance.

Golden-crowned Warbler Basileuterus culicivorus: 4 on the San Lorenzo Ridge

Russet-crowned Warbler- Basileuterus coronatus: Common above Ibague

Gray-throated Warbler - Basileuterus cinereicollis – A range restricted species shared with Venezuela. Seen well at the Bushbird reserve

E White-lored Warbler Basileuterus conspicillatus: This Santa Marta endemic was numerous at middle elevations allowing us several great views. It is relatively common in the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta, where it inhabits humid montane forest, forest borders and well-developed second growth and shade-coffee plantations at 450-2,200m, where it forages at low to mid-levels, principally
in the undeR growth and understorey. It appears tolerant of a degree of habitat degradation. All remaining forest in the Santa Marta mountains is seriously threatened by agricultural expansion, logging and burning. Only 15% of the sierra's vegetation is unaltered, with the south-east slope extensively deforested, and the west slope, between 800 and 1,600m, largely cleared for coffee and illegal marijuana plantations. ENDANGERED

Rufous-capped Warbler Basileuterus rufifrons delatterii: Common above Ibague. The delatrii group of subspecies, from Guatemala south to northwestern South America, was formerly (e.g., Hellmayr 1935) treated as separate species from the Basileuterus rufifrons of (mainly) Mexico, but they evidently intergrade in Guatemala and Honduras (Monroe 1968, AOU 1983).

Three-striped Warbler Basileuterus tristriatus: Only at the Cerulean Warbler Reserve

E Santa Marta Warbler Basileuterus basilicus: Another warbler endemic to the Santa Marta Mountains, which is quite tricky to see. A large, slow and aberrant species, that perhaps does not belong in Basileuterus – it was formerly placed in Hemispingus! It is likely to have undergone a rapid and continuing decline. ENDANGERED

Buff-rumped Warbler Basileuterus fulvicauda: Seen a few times,


Bananaquit Coereba flaveola: As usual, common and widespread.

Fawn-breasted Tanager Pipraeidea melanonota:

Golden Tanager Tangara arthus: A stunning montane species that we saw at a number of sites.

Saffron-crowned Tanager Tangara xanthocephala: Seen well at two sites

Metallic-green Tanager Tangara labradorides: 2 above Ibague

Blue-necked Tanager Tangara cyanicollis: Common and widespread but nonetheless striking.

Plain-coloured Tanager Tangara inornata: A few at Ibague and at El Paujil

Speckled Tanager – Tangara guttata – several sighting sof the bogotensis race at the Cerulean Warbler Reserve

Bay-headed Tanager Tangara gyrola: Two distinctive races were seen of this one: the turquoisebellied
deleticia in the Andes, and toddi in the Santa Marta Mountains, which is all grassgreen except for the bay head. The name ‘gyrola’ is derived from the Latin ‘gyros’, or ring, and refers to the golden nuchal collar present in most races of this species.

Scrub Tanager Tangara vitriolina: Another species which prefers second growth. One of the most
numerous and widespread tanagers in Colombia’s valleys and on the adjacent slopes, but outside the country it is a localized speciality in northern Ecuador.

Beryl-spangled Tanager Tangara nigroviridis: Seen above Ibague

Black-capped Tanager Tangara heinei: Seen in the Santa Marta Mountains

Black-headed Tanager Tangara cyanoptera: Seen commonlay at the Bushbird Reserve

E Santa Marta Mountain-Tanager - Anisognathus melanogenys: Another handsome Santa Marta endemic which was fairly common but great to see!

Blue-winged Mountain-Tanager Anisognathus somptuosus: At the Cerulean Warbler Reserve

Blue-grey Tanager - Thraupis episcopus: Numerous and widespread. The scientific name is derived
from the ‘episcopal blue’ plumage.

Palm Tanager Thraupis palmarum: Common and widespread.

Blue-capped Tanager Thraupis cyanocephala: Two above Ibague

Crimson-backed Tanager Ramphocelus dimidiatus: A widespread tanager of open and secondary

E Flame-rumped Tanager Ramphocelus flammigerus: Common at the Cerulean Warbler reserve wher all smmed to be the yellow-rumped variety

E Sooty Ant-Tanager Habia gutturalis: A superb Nechí endemic that It has a restricted range within north-west Colombia, where it occurs in the upper Sinú valley at the north end of the West Andes, and east along the north base of the Andes to the middle Magdalena valley. Despite a report that it may benefit from forest destruction, it is now adjudged rare in (often streamside) undergrowth in tall secondary and patchy woodland at 100-1,100m. It is highly insectivorous, with pairs or small family groups following swarms of army ants or joining mixed-species flocks. Suitable habitat within its range is unprotected and relatively reduced. The middle and lower Magdalena valley has been extensively deforested since the 19th century (for agriculture), and clearance of its
foothills has been near total since the 1950s. NEAR THREATENED

White-lined Tanager Tachyphonus rufus: Just a couple seen above Ocona

White-shouldered Tanager Tachyphonus luctuosus: Several at the Cerulean Warbler Reserve

Rufous-crested Tanager – Creurgops verticalis.

Grey-headed Tanager Eucometis penicillata: Just a couple noted above Ibague. This species is often
associated with ant swarms.

Guira Tanager Hemithraupis guira: A single male was noted in one of the feeding flocks at Amalfi.

Common Bush-Tanager Chlorospingus ophthalmicus: Fialrly common. A species with a lot of geographic variation.

Oleaginous Hemispingus Hemispingus frontalis: 2 above Ibague in bamboo

Black-faced Tanager Schistochlamys melanopis: A single at Amalfi much to Carl’s delight!

Bluish Flower-piercer Diglossopis caerulescens: A couple at the Cerulean Warbler Reserve. Flower-piercers are nectar thieves, as their name suggests piercing the flowers at their base without performing any pollination duties.

White-sided Flower-piercer - Diglossa albilatera: Perhaps the most common and widespread of the flower-piercers. Here the nominate race.

Green Honeycreeper - Chlorophanes spiza: 2 seen at Serrania de los Quinches

E Turquoise Dacnis - Dacnis hartlaubi: 10 seen in one day at the Ceulean Warbler Reserve, one of the very few localities from which this handsome species is known. The world population is estimated at 2,500 – 9,999 individuals and is decreasing. This species has a highly disjunct and poorly-understood range. It is very close to qualifying as Endangered, because the known range is very small and presumably declining (with possibly some local extirpations) in response to continuing habitat loss. However, it has been recorded at more than five locations and exhibits some habitat tolerance. Named after Karl Hartlaub, German naturalist who wrote the Birds of Madagascar in 1877. VULNERABLE

Yellow-tufted Dacnis - Dacnis egregia: 2 above Ibague and 4 near san Vicente. The SACC says - Ridgely & Tudor (1989) pointed out the trans-Andean egregia group may deserve species rank. Ridgely et al. (2001) considered egregia a species separate from lineata based on plumage differences and disjunct range. SACC proposal to recognize Dacnis egregia as a separate species did not pass because of insufficient published data.

Blue-naped Chlorophonia Chlorophonia cyanea: A few at different localities

Orange-bellied Euphonia Euphonia xanthogaster: 3 seen at the Cerulean warbler Reserve and like most races, the birds we saw (oressinoma), are actually yellow-bellied. A species conspicuously absent from the (impoverished) Santa Marta Mountains.

Thick-billed Euphonia Euphonia laniirostris

Fulvous-vented Euphonia Euphonia fulvicrissa: Seen at El Paujil – a minor range extention


Golden-bellied Grosbeak Cyanocompsa cyanoides: A few in the Santa Marta mountains

Buff-throated Saltator Saltator maximus: Fairly common

Black-winged Saltator Saltator atripennis: Common above Ibague

Streaked Saltator Saltator striatipectus:

Yellow-throated Brush-Finch Atlapetes gutturalis: A smart bird seen above Ibague

E Olive-headed Brush-Finch – Atlapetes flaviceps. 10 seen in the early morning above Ibague. An estremely localized endemic in real danger. ENDAGERED

E Santa Marta Brush-Finch – Atlapetes melanocephalus 20 daily of the endeic and often in the lodge garden.

Moustached Brush-Finch Atlapetes albofrenatus: Small numbers of this relatively arboreal species
Seen at the Cerulean Warbler Reserve and at the Bishbird reserve

Chestnut-capped Brush-Finch Atlapetes brunneinucha:

Stripe-headed Brush-Finch Atlapetes torquatus: 2 above Ibague (lacking the black breast band) of the assimilis race and another seen in the Santa Marta Mountains, of the endemic race basilicus (which, along with several other subspecies, does have a black breast band). More than one species are likely involved.

Black-striped Sparrow Arremonops conirostris: One seen well at El Paujil

Yellow-faced Grassquit - Tiaris olivacea: Small numbers at the Cerulean Warbler reserve

Dull-coloured Grassquit Tiaris obscura:

Paramo Seedeater Catamenia homochroa: Good views of the santa marta distinct race which may deserve species status\

Lesser Seed-Finch Oryzoborus angolensis: Three seen near to our hotel at Dorodal. A slightly strange
scientific name, this species having nothing to do with Angola – an error!

Thick-billed Seed-Finch - Oryzoborus funereus – seen at the El Paujil Reserve. A spottily distributed species

Large-billed Seed –Finch – Oryzoborus carssirostris 2 males in the coffee plantations at the Cerulean Warbler Reserve

Grey Seedeater Sporophila intermedia: One above Ibague

Yellow-bellied Seedeater Sporophila nigricollis: Small numbers at several sites.

Ruddy-breasted Seedeater Sporophila minuta: Small numbers at several sites

Blue-black Grassquit Volatinia jacarina:

Saffron Finch Sicalis flaveola:

Plumbeous Sierra-Finch Phrygilus unicolor: Four of these high-altitude finches were found along the
Nevado del Ruiz road.

Rufous-collared Sparrow Zonotrichia capensis: Numerous at higher elevations.

Olivaceous Siskin Carduelis olivacea: 2 near Ocona

Lesser Goldfinch - Carduelis psaltria: Many seen


Chestnut-headed Oropendola Zarhynchus wagleri*

Crested Oropendola Psarocolius decumanus: Easy to see at middle elevations in the Santa Marta Mountains.

Russet-backed Oropendola Psarocolius angustifrons:

Great-tailed Grackle Quiscalus mexicanus: Fair numbers at Santa Marta town.

E Mountain Grackle – Macroagelaius subalaris. We saw 6 with Oropendolas at the Cerulean Warbler Reserve This species has been downlisted from Critically Endangered as it is now known to occur over a larger range than was previously thought. However, the total range is still very small, and habitat within this range is severely fragmented and declining in area and quality. ENDANGERED

Yellow-hooded Blackbird Agelaius icterocephalus: One near Puerto Pinzon

Orange-crowned Oriole Icterus auricapillus: A few at Serrania de los Quinches

Yellow Oriole Icterus nigrogularis: 2 near Minca

Yellow-backed Oriole Icterus chrysater: An attractive bird with a beautiful song that we saw at the Cerulean Warbler Reserve

Yellow-tailed Oriole Icterus mesomelas: A male of this attractive oriole showed well at Minca.

Red-breasted Blackbird Leistes militaris: We saw two around the marsh near to our hotel at Dorodal..