Thursday, 13 March 2014

Santa Marta area - Colombia

The mountains of the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta in the north of Colombia are a major birding destination as it has the highest concentration of endemic bird species in South America! (From Birdwatching in Colombia by Jurgen Beckers and Pablo Florez). Because these mountains are widely separated from the Andes ranges, many species evolved into new species or subspecies. However, this isolation also means that biodiversity is a bit lower than the Andes ranges. So while you won't rack up a huge list here, you will see a lot of special / endangered / endemic species. 

Much of this mountain range is difficult to access and some parts not always safe. However, Cuchilla de San Lorenzo is a ridge that is very safe for birders, easy to get to, and all but one endemic is found here. Minca is a small town part way up that birders often spend a day or two at, followed by a few days higher up at the fantastic ProAves reserve and lodge called El Dorado. There is also a research station nearer the summit that's possible to stay at if you can make the arrangements. My brother and I also stayed a few nights at a small village called La Tagua after our plans to stay at the research station didn't pan out. 

I will do a separate post on the El Dorado Lodge and its hummingbird feeders, and another post on the endemics of this area. For now, here a few photos of some other birds we saw. 

Golden-bellied Grosbeak

Orange-chinned Parakeet

Swallow Tanager - very common along road here!

Yellow-bellied Chat-Tyrant

 Cinnamon Flycatcher

Black-fronted Wood-Quail (near endemic)

Bay-headed Tanager

 Blue-capped Tanager at feeder.

 Blue-naped Chlorophonia 

 Crested Oropendola

 Oropendola nests



Sunset over the Caribbean as seen from the El Dorado Lodge

No comments:

Post a Comment