Birder's Guide

AUG 2013

Birder's Guide is the American Birding Association's newest publication. Each issue focuses on a key subject, providing tips from experienced birders on a wide variety of topics like Travel, Listing & Taxonomy, Gear, and Conservation & Community.

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Page 35 of 67

cus on the Andean, Caribbean, and Santa Marta regions. Keep in mind that reputable agencies will not include areas that are known or suspected to be unsafe, both for the well-being of their clients and the company's reputation. Below are general trip itineraries to the regions most agencies build their trips around: The Andes Region • With endemic birds just a few minutes' cab ride from Bogotá's international airport, it's easy to understand why some time should be spent exploring the three distinct Andean chains of central Colombia. Bogotá is a massive, pulsating metropolis of eight million people—and the start of most bird tours. Before heading out to the countryside, don't miss the capital city's birdlife! Parque Nacional Natural Chingaza is about a 45-minute drive from the center of Bogotá and harbors the endemic Brown-breasted Parakeet as well as many other noteworthy species. Additionally, Bogotá's local wetlands provide birders with several other key endemic species. La Florida, just minutes from the airport, is a good place to fnd the endemic Bogotá Rail. These wetlands and small pockets of trees offer chances at two other endemics: Apolinar's Wren and Silvery-throated Spinetail. Outside Bogotá near Laguna de Pedro Palo are areas where two more Colombian endemics reside: Black Inca and Turquoise Dacnis. After this enticing introduction, most birding tours head southwest of Bogotá and end up near the city of Ibagué (ee-bah-GAY), where Yellowheaded Brush-fnch resides along with the endemic Tolima Dove. Nearby, tours attempt to view Cauca Guan near Parque Nacional Natural Otún Quimbaya, an important haven for one of the last remaining populations of this species. Many tours stop and/or stay at Reserva Río Blanco, near the town of Manizales, to spend some time with the endemic Brown-banded Antipitta. An antpitta feeding station at Río q Top: After some time in the cool Santa Marta mountains, you may want to warm up on the Caribbean coast. Photo © Tim Mitzen. q Middle left: If you visit Jardín, be sure to spend some time at the Andean Cock-of-the-rock lek. Photo © Adam Riley. q Middle right: Black Inca can be seen a short distance from the capital city of Bogotá. Photo © Nick Athanas. q Bottom: Delicious fresh fruit and colorful decorations are ubiquitous in Colombia. Photo © Tim Mitzen. 34 Birder's Guide to Travel | August 2013

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