Welcome to the Colombia Birdwatch Blog, hosted by Owner/Operator Christopher Calonje. I was born and raised in Cali, Colombia, and have been leading birding and nature tours throughout all regions of Colombia since 2008. I have always carried a camera on my travels, becoming an enthusiast of bird and lanscape photography. This blog is intended to be a showcase of the spectacular birds and scenery that one can experience in the five major regions of Colombia: Andean, Pacific, Caribbean, Amazon, and Orinoco. Subscribers will be able to keep track of my travels throughout Colombia,and view the birds and scenery I photograph during these amazing trips. The idea is that folks will learn about the plethora of birding localities that can be visited in Colombia, in hopes of encouraging birders to visit a country that holds 20% of the world's species of birds in less than 1% of the world's landmass.
I pride myself in knowing the ins and outs of Colombia, its mind-boggling avian diversity, diverse geography, amazing people, delicious food and interesting culture. I find extreme joy in showing off my country to birders and naturalists from around the globe, and want to extend an invitation to all of you to come visit the most avian-rich country on the planet.

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Birding in Rio Blanco

Rio Blanco has been touted as one of the three top places to go birding in the world! The reserve is managed by Aguas de Manizales, the municipal water company for the beautiful city of Manizales. The city is in the center of the famed Coffee Triangle and the hospitality at the reserve is beyond comparison. The reservation covers a large altitudinal gradient, and thus represents a strata of varied ecosystems. It is possible to observe five species of Antpitta within a few hours at the three feeders located within a short hike from the lodge: The endemic Brown-banded, Bicolored, Chestnut-crowned, Chestnut-naped, and Slate-crowned Antpitta. The seldom seen Slaty-backed Nightingale Thrush and Gray-browed Brush-Finch also feast at the feeders. The endemic Rufous-fronted Parakeet and the very rare Masked Saltator are also usually observed in the vicinity of the lodge. Along with endemic and rare species, this area boasts many sought after species that include: Tyrannine Woodcreeper, Golden-faced Redstart, Dusky Piha, Black-billed and Buff-breasted Mountain-Tanagers, Grass-green and White-capped Tanager, Powerful Woodpecker, and the the hard to see Ocellated, Blakish and Spillman’s Tapaculos. Black-billed Peppershrike, Plushcap, Moun¬tain Cacique, and Golden-plumed Parakeet are also options. The reserve boasts several well-maintained hummingbird feeders that attract various speecies of hummingbirds that include Tourmaline Sunangel, Buff-tailed Coronet, Speckled Hummingbird, Bronzy and Collared Inca, Mountain Velvet-breast, the tiny White-bellied Woodstar and Long-tailed Sylph.
Colombia Birdwatch's Birding in Rio Blanco - Central Andes, Colombia  photoset Colombia Birdwatch's Birding in Rio Blanco - Central Andes, Colombia photoset