Tailor-made tour experts

A short report about our February-March 2022 26-day birding trip

At The Andean Birder, we specialize in creating custom trips. Whether it’s a short trip highlighting the best of a region or a longer trip based on a specific list of species to see. This has been our method of operation since our inception, and it is this adaptability that has drawn so many clients. Before the COVID-19 pandemic, we received a request from two clients in the United States to design a trip based on a list of approximately 900 possible species to see in Colombia.

Such a task could only be completed in mid-2021, which is how this 26-day journey through various regions of the country came to be. Each location was chosen based on rigorous analysis of the presence and abundance of each species on the list, and at the end of the analysis, we obtained a list with dozens of locations, which was then used to trace the route.

This tailor-made trip was created for Lisa and Li Li from the United States, a couple of agile bird watchers who, despite only being in the birding world for a little more than four years, have already seen and photographed hundreds of species across several countries.

The main locations visited during the tour are depicted on the map below. We began in the warm and tropical weather of the Mid-Magdalena valley east of Medellin then went to a newly discovered location for the endemic Antioquia Brush-finch before heading west to the colorful town of Jardin and the Yellow-eared Parrot reserve. From there, we traveled south along the Western Andes to Tatamá National Park, and then east to visit all of the locations surrounding Los Nevados National Park, including the most reliable spot for the critically endangered and endemic Fuerte’s Parrot. From there, we traveled south to various locations above Cali, as well as to the humid and diverse rain forest of San Cipriano on the Pacific Coast.

We continued south before turning east to cross the Colombian Massif, stopping to see the Andean Condors in the area where they are fed by locals. Our final stop was the beautiful El Encanto and La Drymophila reserves, where we finished the journey with many new birds.

The numbers

  • In total, we recorded 629 species of birds.
  • 101 ebird’s checklists were created during the trip.
  • We birded in 8 departments of Colombia.

Photographic gallery

This beautiful collection of pictures is courtesy of Lisa and Li Li, who also have submitted them to eBird. If you want to check out the complete collection, please visit their Macauly Library’s collection here

About the author

Johnnier is the manager and main tour leader of The Andean Birder. Over 13 years he has been organizing and leading birding trips in the most important regions of Colombia.

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