Eastern Andes

The Eastern Andes is the driest of the three ranges, and also the largest, extending into neighboring Venezuela. The range offers interesting cloud forest, paramo and wetlands where many specialities and endemics can be found. Fifteen national protected areas and more than 20 Important Bird Areas (IBAs) protect the ecosystems of these Andean mountains and offer outstanding birding. The eastern Andes range borders the Orinoquia region to the east and the Magdalena Valley to the west.

Bogotá and its surroundings protected areas offer prime birding opportunities without having to travel too far. Some endemic targets include Bogotá Rail, Silvery-throated Spinetail, and Apolinar's Marsh-wren. Reserves near Bogota such as Chicaque Park and Pedro Palo Lagoon offer opportuni-ties for Turquoise Dacnis, Black Inca, Gorgeted Woodstar, Moustached Puffbird, Rufous-naped Greenlet, and Ash -browed Spinetail. At higher elevations, Brown-breasted Parakeet, Agile tit-tyrant and Rufous-browed Conebill and Coppery-bellied Puffleg are amongst the list of target species.

Bogota Wetlands

What is amazing about Bogota is that it offers excellent birding opportunities within city limits, with a network of urban parks in one of Latin America's most modern cities. It is the remnants of what was once a vast network of wetlands and lakes, and offers unique birding opportunities within a metropolis, most notably in La Florida and La Conejera wetlands. The reed beds are home to the endemic Bogota Rail and Apolinar's Marsh-wren, and are also home to Yellow-hooded Blackbird and Subtropical Doradito. Open waters harbor large numbers of Ruddy Duck, American Coot, Common Moorhen and Spot-flanked Gallinule. Another treat is the endemic Silvery-throated Spinetail, and the hyperactive Rufous-browed Conebill. The network of reserves sits at 2,600 m (8,530 ft).

Enchanted Gardens

Enchanted Gardens is 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.

Chicaque Reserve

Only thirty minutes from Bogota, Chicaque Natural Park is a privately owned reserve that boasts 19 km (12 miles) of trails that wind through vast and gorgeous cloud forest habitat. Crystalline creeks and pristine habitats are impressive considering the reserve's proximity to one of the busiest cities in South America. With more than 250 species of birds, some of the endemic targets of the area are Black Inca and the beautiful Turquoise Dacnis. Andean Guan are easy to spot along the trail and Tanagers abound in the area, including Grass-green, Flame-faced, and Metallic-green.

Andean Guan

Chingaza National Park

Birding within the park will surely yield many endemics and specialties, and a nice chance to experience the unique Colombian Paramo. Some of the targets include the rare Black-headed Hemispingus, Rufous and Undulated Antpitta, Agile Tit-tyrant, Matorral Tapculo, and the near endemic Rufous-browed Conebill and Black-billed Mountain Toucan. 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 Starfrontlet.

Two other endemics on our target list include Silver-throated Spinetail and Pale-bellied Tapaculo. An encounter with a mixed flock could yield Buff-breasted Mountain-Tanager, Black-backed 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 nest boxes have been set up within the park.

Chingaza National Park