Tour Dates: Mar 17 - Mar 31, 2015 (15 days)
Feb 15 - Feb 29, 2016 (15 days)
Tour Price: US$4,400 - £ 2,890
Tour Size: Limited to 8 Participants
Tour Leader: Christopher Calonje


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Our Leader:

Christopher Calonje was born and raised in Colombia where his grandfather and parents instilled an appreciation for the beautiful birds of Colombia from a young age. He graduated with a degree in Natural Resources Planning at Humboldt State University, located in Northern California, and worked ten years as an environmental consultant in the Pacific Northwest. Chris specializes in wetland science, botany, and environmental education. He began leading groups in 2008 in his native Colombia, founded Colombia Birdwatch to promote responsible ecotourism, and devotes his time to various non-profit conservation groups and local communities. His family and friends in Colombia have welcomed numerous tour groups to their properties in all regions of Colombia.


Download Detailed Itinerary All Three Andean Ranges and Magdalena Valley Endemics

Trip List: All Three Andean Ranges and Magdalena Valley Endemics

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All Three Andean Ranges and Magdalena Valley Endemics

Day 1: Arrive in Bogota. Night in Bogota
Guests will arrive in Bogota and be transferred to the hotel. Your tour leader will meet you at the airport and begin talking about the birding adventure you are about to embark on.
Lodging Le Manoir

Day 2: Monteredondo. Night in Bogota
On the eastern flank of the eastern Andes, Monteredondo is an area that offers a good opportunity for some special birds. A 2.5-hour and 6,000 foot drop in elevation drive will have us birding near the Guatiquia River. The endemic and rare Cundinamarca Antpitta is the main objective, but other goodies include Speckled Tanager, Ash-browed Spinetail, Schwartz’s Antthrush, Flavescent Flycatcher and Bluis Flowerpiercer. Sickle-winged Guan are easy to spot and Tanagers abound in the area, including Grass-green, Flame-faced, and Metallic-green. After a full day of birding we will return to Bogota for dinner and rest.
Lodging Le Manoir

Day 3: Chingaza National Park. Night in Bogota
We will rise early and make our way to the high elevation Chingaza National Park, passing through the town of La Calera. Birding within the park will surely yield many endemics and specialties, and this is our chance to experience the unique Colombian Paramo. Some of our targets will be the rare Black-headed Hemispingus, Rufous and Undulated Antpitta, and the near endemic Rufous-browed Conebill. For those that have an affinity for hummingbirds, there will be chances to view the dazzling Bearded Helmetcrest, Coppery-bellied and Glowing Puffleg, Amethyst-throated Sunangel and the near endemic Blue-throated StarThe Paramo of Chingaza National Park frontlet.
Two other endemics on our target list include Silver-throated Spinetail and Pale-bellied Tapaculo. An encounter with a mixed flock could yield Buffbreasted Mountain-Tanager, Hooded Mountain-Tanager, Pale-naped Brush-Finch, Plushcap and the noisy Scarlet-bellied Mountain-Tanager. The uncommon and endemic Brown-breasted Parakeet is also a possibility as next boxes have been set up within the park.
Lodging Le Manoir

Day 4: La Florida Wetlands, Jardin Encantado and Drive to La Victoria. Night in La Victoria After breakfast we will head on a mission to find waterfowl in La Florida Wetlands, including the endemic Bogotá Rail, the rare Noble Snipe, Andean Teal, Masked and Ruddy Duck and the localized Spot-flanked Gallinule. We will the begin our descent down the western flank of the eastern Andes, towards Enchanted Gardens, a private residence with an impressive feeder setup. The main target is the endemic Indigo-capped Hummingbird, as they visit the feeders regularly. More than 25 species may use these feeders, some only briefly, others nearly year-round. Possible species include White-bellied Woodstar, Green Hermit, Black-throated Mango, White-necked Jacobin, White-vented Plumeteer, Andean Emerald, and with good luck Gorgeted Woodstar. We will then continue our descent towards La Victoria, in the Magdalena Valley.
Lodging La Posada Ermita

Day 5: La Victoria and Drive to Rio Claro. Night in Rio Claro
We will devote the morning to the La VIctoria Area, in the eastern flank of the central Andes. Sooty Ant-tanager is one of the sought-after endemics we will look for, and Velvet-fronted Euphonia and Goldenheaded Manakin will also be on our radar.
Other specialties include the endemic and vulnerable Colombian Chachalaca, which should be easy to see. Blakc-face Dacnis, Tody Motmot and Dull-mantled Antbird will hopefully show themselves before we start heading north towards the Rio Claro Reserve.
Lodging Los Colores

Day 6: Rio Claro Reserve. Night in Rio Claro Reserve
Our first morning in Rio Claro we will bird along a dirt road in search for specialities like the endemic White-mantled Barbet, Antioquia Bristle-Tyrant and the very still Barred Puffbird. Other birds we might encounter include Panama Flycatcher, Ruddy-tailed Flycatcher, Yellow-crowned Tyrannulet, Cinnamon Becard, One-colored Becard, Yellow-tufted Dacnis, Purple Honeycreeper, Chestnut-mandibled Toucan, Citroen-throated Toucan, Collared Aracari, Olivaceous Piculet and Fulvous-vented Euphonia. We will also have the opportunity to find two species of Manakin: Western Striped and White-bearded.
Rio Claro is a hotspot for bird diversity and other birds we might encounter include Purple-crowned Fairy, Bay-breasted Warbler, Buff-rumped Warbler, Western White-tailed Trogon, Black-throated Trogon, Rufous Motmot, Broad-billed Motmot, Slaty-winged Foliage-Gleaner, Western-Slaty Antshrike, Blackfaced Antthrush, Cinnamon Woodpecker, Pacific Streaked Antwren, Checkered Antwren, Moustached Antwren, Yellow-backed Tanager, Tawny-crested Tanager, Orange-crowned Oriole and many others.
Lodging Los Colores

Day 7: Oilbird Cave and travel to Rio Claro. Night in Chestnut-capped Piha Reserve
This morning we will take a short drive to La Cueva del Condor. a cave that was named after a Condor. However, no Condor inhabit the area, but we will be on a search for oilbird. This very interesting nightbird uses sonar to navigate, and it will be a delight to get accquainted with it. After visiting the cave we will bird in the vicinity and search out the very territorial wrens: Bay Wren, Black-bellied, Band-and-backed Wren. The afternoon will be spent near the hotel at the Rio Claro Reserve, trying to find any targets we might have missed. We will spend the night at the reserve and prepare for our drive to the Chestnut-capped Piha Reserve.
Lodging Chestnut CP

Day 8: Chestnut-capped Piha. Night in Chestnutcapped Piha Reserve
Created in 2006, this reserve is known as one of the premier ProAves birding hotspots. Encompassing 3,271 acres, this visit will surely yield a plethora of species in the lush humid montane forests and water features of the reserve. We will target the endemic Red-bellied Grackle and Colombian Chachalaca, as well as Purplish-mantled Tanager, Stiles’s Tapaculo and the near-endemic Sooty-headed Wren. Of course, the recently described Chestnut-capped Piha will be at the top of the list, as we feast our eyes on Uniform Antshrike, Rufous-browed Tyrannulet, Yellow-browed Shrike-Vireo and Indigo Flowerpiercer.
Lodging Chestnut CP

Day 9 and 10: Chestnut-capped Piha Reserve. Night in Chestnut-capped Piha Reserve
Two full days at the reserve will allow us to enjoy the well-maintained feeders that attract a myriad of fruit-eating species, a true festival of Tanagers. Species we will spend the day looking for include Pavonine Cuckoo, Blackish Rail, Russet-crowned Crake, Lyre-tailed Nightjar. For the hummingbird lovers Green-fronted Lancebill and Greenish Puffleg will be a pleasure to find.
The possibilities for great birds are countless, so we will also hope to see Lanceolated Monklet, Brown-billed Scythebill, Rufous-browed Tyrannulet, Golden-winged Manakin, Moustached Puffbird, Ochre-breasted Antpitta, Northern White-crowned Tapaculo, and Chestnut-crowned Gnateater.
Lodging Chestnut CP

Day 11: Chestnut-capped Piha Reserve to Medellin. Overnight in Medellin
We will use the morning to find any targets we may have missed and then head to Medellin for the night.
Lodging Best Western

Day 12: La Romera Park and drive to Jardin. Night in Jardin
La Romera is a small park within the city limits of Medellín that is home to the endemics Red-bellied Grackle and Yellow-headed Manakin. The park affords good birding opportunities without having to travel far, with species such as Spotted Barbtail, Blackish Tapaculo, Azara’s Spnetail, Rusty Flowerpiercer, Golden-olive Woodpecker, Three-striped Warbler, Scrub Tanager, Blue-crowned Motmot and Western Emerald. We will visit the park in the morning and take the afternoon to make our way to Jardin in time to visit the Andean Cock-of-the-rock lek near town.
Lodging Valdivia Plaza

Day 13: Las Ventanas Road and Yellow-eared Parrot Reserve. Night in Jardin
We will maximize our efforts to find the Yellow-eared Parrot and for the next 2 days. This littleknown species is severely threatened due to the disappearance of the wax palms, where they roost and nest. Wax palms are the national tree of Colombia, and is also an endangered species. As we look for the parrot we will also keep our eyes and ears out for White-capped Parrots, Rufous-chested Chat-Tyrant, Barred Fruiteater, Streak-throated Bush-Tyrant, Rufous-headed Pygmy-Tyrant, Handsome Flycatcher, Northern Mountain and Subtropical Cacique, Russetbacked Oropendola, Citrine Warbler and others. Other targets for the day will be Chestnut-crested Cotinga, Tanager Finch, and the endemic Red-bellied Grackle. We will spend another night in Jardin.
Lodging Valdivia Plaza

Day 14: Jardin to Medellin via Anifina River. Flights to Bogota
Our trip from Jardin to Medellin will take us into the unique canyon that the Cauca River has carved into the Andes Mountains. We will have the opportunity to explore the dry forests of The Cauca Valley, making a few stops during our drive hoping to net some of Colombia’s most range-restricted species. Our main target will be the recently described Antioquia Wren, whilst taking advantage of the possibility of the endemic Apical Flycatcher and Grayish Piculet.
Lodging Le Manoir

Day 15: Flights homeward
Guests will be taken to the airport to catch flights home.