|Photoblog - Colombia 2012-2013 - mid altitude range|
Colombia has the most species of birds of any country. This is for a number of reasons, including two forks of the Andes, a connection to central America, the Atlantic, Pacific, Amazon, 'llanos' or flatlands, and a northern desert. If that wasn't enough, the Santa Marta mountain range especially and Magdalena valley are two isolated ecosystems with a large number of endemic species. I've visited Colombia five times now, and found the country to be safe and to have ample opportunities for photography. Of course you have to be careful where ever you go, especially in Latin America and poorer countries, but Colombia is in my opinion as safe as Ecuador or Panama, if you don't go to places that the government doesn't control.
I am going to post a few images from my last trip. THe first will focus on some birds seen at mid range elevations, around 2000 meters. That altitiude is often deforested because the climate is comfortable and the land is usually fertile. Some locations are the ProAves reserves Tangaras and Chestnut-capped Piha, Otun-Quimbaya near Pereira, and the small La Romera reserve near Medellin.
A Colombian Chachalaca, closely related to the scaled Chachalaca of the Amazon. Colombia has a second endemic Chachalaca in the north, the Chestnut-winged Chachalaca, which is closely related to the Grey-headed Chachalaca of Panama and Costa Rica.
The Red-ruffed Fruitcrow has a wide distribution but is described as 'local' or found only in particular locations in its range.
The Andean Cock-of-the-rock is a spectacular bird which can sometimes be easily seen at 'leks', or gathering of males hoping for a passing female. And when the female comes, these 'loros' or parrots as the locals call them, really make a lot of noise. The Andean Cock-of-the-rock is in the cotinga family.
An uncommonly photographed species, the Brown-billed Scythebill can reach food others can't.