Colombia Wild

Andean Cock of the Rock (Rupicola peruvianus) perched on a branch in the rainforest of Cali, Colombia

Colombia Wild

  |   Birds, Mammals, Photography Destinations, Stories, Videos   |   1 Comment

Colombia is one of the most biodiverse countries in the world, with more than 1900 birds species, amazing national parks and great and warm people.

At the start of 2017, we decided to tour the country for two weeks to photograph and video some of our target species.

Our first day started in Manizales, with an Amazing sunset. Pablo Neruda called the City a “Fabrica de atardeceres” (Sunset Factory).

Hummingbirds are plentiful in Manizales, with some amazing species to see and photograph.

Buff Tailed Coronet (Boissonneaua flavescens) extending its wings at Manizales, Colombia
Collared Inca (Coeligena torquata) in flight at the at Manizales Colobia
Buff Tailed Coronet (Boissonneaua flavescens) perched on a branch over flowers at Manizales, Colombia
Bronzy Inca (Coeligena coeligena) in flight at the rainforest of Cali, Colombia
Buff Tailed Coronet (Boissonneaua flavescens) perched on a branch over flowers at Manizales, Colombia
Buff Tailed Coronet (Boissonneaua flavescens) perched on a branch over flowers at Manizales, Colombia
Fawn Breasted Brilliant (Heliodoxa rubinoides) perched on a branch perched on a branch in a flower field at Manizales, Colombia
Collared Inca (Coeligena torquata) perched on a branch at Manizales Colombia
Long Tailed Sylph (Aglaiocercus kingi) perched on a branch under the rain, at Manizales, Colombia

One of my target species for the trip was the Long Tailed Sylph (Aglaiocercus kingi), with a tail sometimes twice the length of its body.

Long Tailed Sylph (Aglaiocercus kingi) perched on a branch at Manizales, Colombia
Long Tailed Sylph (Aglaiocercus kingi) perched on a branch at Manizales, Colombia
Long Tailed Sylph (Aglaiocercus kingi) perched on a branch at Manizales, Colombia
Long Tailed Sylph (Aglaiocercus kingi) perched on a branch at Manizales, Colombia
Sword Billed Hummingbird (Ensifera ensifera) perched on the branch at the highlands of Colombia, Manizales
Shining Sunbeam (Aglaeactis cupripennis) perched on a leaf at the highlands of Colombia, Manizales
White Bellied Woodstar (Chaetocercus mulsant) female in flight, feedin from flowers at the rainforest of Manizales, Colombia
White Bellied Woodstar (Chaetocercus mulsant) male in flight, feedin from flowers at the rainforest of Manizales, Colombia
White Bellied Woodstar (Chaetocercus mulsant) male in flight at the rainforest of Manizales, Colombia
Tourmaline Sunangel (Heliangelus exortis) preched on a flower at Manizales, Colombia
Tourmaline Sunangel (Heliangelus exortis) preched on a flower at Manizales, Colombia
Shining Sunbeam (Aglaeactis cupripennis) extending its wings at the highlands of Manizales, Colombia
Buff Tailed Coronet (Boissonneaua flavescens) perched on a branch over flowers at Manizales, Colombia

Antpittas are also plentiful in Manizales, normally very hard to see or photograph elsewhere in the world, you can find from 5 to 8 species in a couple of days here.

Chestnut Crowned (Grallaria ruficapilla) in a clearance of the rainforest at Manizales, Colombia.
Brown Banded Antpitta in the rainforest-2
Bicolored Antpitta (Grallaria rufocinerea) perched on the ground
Slate Crowned Antpitta (Grallaricula nana) perched on a branch
Chestnut Crowned (Grallaria ruficapilla) perched in a branch in the rainforest at Manizales, Colombia.
Brown Banded Antpitta in the rainforest
Slate Crowned Antpitta (Grallaricula nana) perched on a branch
Slate Crowned Antpitta (Grallaricula nana) perched on a branch at the rainforest of Manizales, Colombia
Tawny antpitta (Grallaria quitensis) calling from the ground
Chestnut Crowned (Grallaria ruficapilla) in a clearance of the rainforest at Manizales, Colombia.
Bicolored Antpitta (Grallaria rufocinerea) perched on the ground

Another target species of mine was the Buffy helmetcrest (Oxypogon stubelii) only found above the 4000 meters.

Green Bearded Helmetcrest (Oxypogon guerinii) extending its tail at the Highlands of Colombia, Manizales
Green Bearded Helmetcrest (Oxypogon guerinii) perched in a frailejon at the Highlands of Colombia, Manizales
Green Bearded Helmetcrest (Oxypogon guerinii) feeding from flowers at the highlands of Colombia, Manizales
Green Bearded Helmetcrest (Oxypogon guerinii) perched, under the morning light at the Highlands of Colombia, Manizales
Green Bearded Helmetcrest (Oxypogon guerinii) perched in a frailejon at the Highlands of Colombia, Manizales
Green Bearded Helmetcrest (Oxypogon guerinii) feeding from flowers

Rainbow-bearbed thornbill (Chalcostigma herrani) it’s also another amazing Hummingbird only found at high elevations.

Rainbow-bearbed thornbill (Chalcostigma herrani) perched on a mossy branch at the highlands of Colombia, Manizales
Rainbow-bearbed thornbill (Chalcostigma herrani) perched on a mossy branch at the highlands of Colombia, Manizales
Rainbow-bearbed thornbill (Chalcostigma herrani) extending its wings at the highlands of Colombia, Manizales
Rainbow-bearbed thornbill (Chalcostigma herrani) perched on a mossy branch at the highlands of Colombia, Manizales
Rainbow-bearbed thornbill (Chalcostigma herrani) perched on a mossy branch at the highlands of Colombia, Manizales

Some great Tanagers waited for us in Cali, an amazing place with great birding and photography opportunities

Golden Naped Tanager (Tangara ruficervix) perched on a branch at the Rainforest at Cali, Colombia
Chestnut Breasted Tanager (Tangara arthus) perched on a branch at Cali, Colombia
Buff breasted Mountain Tanager perched on a branch at Manizales, Colombia.
Saffron Crowned Tanager (Tangara xanthocephala) perched on a branch in the rainforest, Cali, Colombia
Rufous Throated Tanager (Tangara rufigula) perched on a branch at the rainforest of Cali, Colombia
Blue Winged Mountain Tanager (Anisognathus somptuosus) perched on a branch at the rainforest at Cali, Colombia
Golden Naped Tanager (Tangara ruficervix) perched on a branch at the Rainforest at Cali, Colombia
Chestnut Breasted Tanager (Tangara arthus) perched on a branch in the rainforest at Cali, Colombia
Saffron Crowned Tanager (Tangara xanthocephala) perched on a branch in the rainforest, Cali, Colombia
Masked Flowerpiercer (Diglosa cyanea) perched on a branch at the highlands of Colombia, Manizales
Saffron Crowned Tanager (Tangara xanthocephala) perched on a branch in the rainforest, Cali, Colombia
Multicolored Tanager (Chlorochrysa nitidissima) perched on a branch at Cali, Colombia
Rufous Throated Tanager (Tangara rufigula) perched on a branch at the rainforest of Cali, Colombia

The Toucan Barbet (semnornis ramphastinus) can be found searching for fruiting trees in Cali as well. We were lucky to find two individuals calling and searching for food.

Toucan Barbet (semnornis ramphastinus) perched on a branch with a bromelia
Toucan Barbet (semnornis ramphastinus) perched on a branch
Toucan Barbet (semnornis ramphastinus) perched on a branch
White Booted Racket Tail (Ocreatus underwoodii) male perched in a leaf at Cali, Colombia

We went to several national parks in Pereira and found some other really cool species.

Black Chested Buzzar Eagle (Geranoaetus melanoleucus) perched in a frailejon at the highlands of Manizales, Colombia
Torrent duck (Merganetta armata) male resting on a rock at Pereira, Colombia
Crab-eating Fox, (Cerdocyon thous) crossing a field at Pereira, Colombia
Crab-eating Fox, (Cerdocyon thous) crossing a field at Pereira, Colombia
Torrent duck (Merganetta armata) male resting on a rock at Pereira, Colombia
Torrent duck (Merganetta armata) female resting on a rock at Pereira, Colombia

One of the most sought-after birds in South America it’s the Andean Cock of the Rock (Rupicola peruvianus). We had the time of a lifetime when we went to a leck one afternoon.

Andean Cock of the Rock (Rupicola peruvianus) perched on a branch in the rainforest of Cali, Colombia
Andean Cock of the Rock (Rupicola peruvianus) perched on a branch in the rainforest of Cali, Colombia
Andean Cock of the Rock (Rupicola peruvianus) perched on a branch in the rainforest of Cali, Colombia

We also created a video of our travel through Colombia, Enjoy

Colombia Birding

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1Comment
  • Fernando B. Corrada | Oct 22, 2017 at 9:29 pm

    Awesome images Chris! It looks like it was a fantastic trip.

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