• Bay-headed Tanager

COLOMBIA 15 DAY BIRDING PHOTOGRAPHY TRIP

With 1930+ bird species (89 endemics) Colombia hosts more species than any other country on the planet. With the vast and unique Chocó forests, three Andean Cordilleras, two inter-Andean valleys, the Pacific and Caribbean coasts, the lowland forests of the Amazon and the Orinoco regions, the isolated Santa Marta Mountains as well as deserts and lakes this is literally one of the most exciting countries to go birding in anywhere!

Our exciting photo tour will set you up for incredible photo opportunities including fantastic hummingbird multi-flash workshops. You will be photographing iconic species surrounded by the most exhilarating natural beauty imaginable.

Camera gear recommended for this tour:

* Telephoto lens 400 to 600mm

* Landscape lens

* 2 cameras (if possible)

* Tripod

* 1 or 2 flashes

* Flash light

 

For multi-flash photography

* 1 person per time.

* Tripod

* 1 or 2 flashes

* Zoom lens preferably but a prime lenses will work.

* Your guide has backgrounds, more flashes and accessories.

 

Additional: For macro photography

* flashlight

* 1 flash

* 100mm macro lens if available but any other lens can be used

* 15mm Sigma macro lens or similar. This is optional, but these lenses are very good at including the environment.

Click on the itinerary tab next to the gallery

Gallery

Itinerary

Click on each day to see daily itinerary & target species

Day 1 Cali City

Arrival at Aeropuerto Internacional Alfonso Bonilla Aragón from where we will transfer you to your hotel in Cali City. (Depending on your arrival time today and energy level we can arrange an additional birding day trip around Cali on request)

Day 2 La Conchita

A short drive fro Cali we will make our first stop to photograph the endemic Chestnut Woo-quail. Not far from here we will spend the rest of the day at La Conchita where 20 species of hummingbirds visit the feeders as well as tanagers and the endemic Colombian Chachalaca.

Target species: Blue-headed Sapphire, Brown Violetear, Booted Racket-Tail, Andean Emerald, Purple-Throated Woodstart, Steely-vented Hummingbird, Long-tailed Sylph, Long-billed Starthroat, Western Emerald, Red-headed Barbet, Saffron-crowned Tanager, Flame-rumped Tanager, Golden Tanager, Golden-naped Tanager and Colombian Chachalaca 

Day 3 La Minga Ecolodge

At 1900 meters above sea level La Minga Ecolodge is situated in the cloud forest and attracts currently up to 17 species of hummingbirds and up to 30 species of colorful tanagers like the Multi-coloured Tanager, flower piercers, barbets, toucanets and honeycreepers can be observed and easily photographed at feeders. We will spend a full day here on a multi-flash workshop.

A short trail from the lodge may reward us with views of Trogons, Quetzals and Toucanets.

Target species: Crowned Woodnymph, Booted Racket-tail, Bronzy Inca, Long-tailed Sylph, Green Thorntail, Western Emerald, Purple-throated Woodstar, Crimson-rumped Toucanet, Emerald Toucanet, Multi-coloured Tanager, Red-headed Barbet, Black-capped Tanager, Green Honeycreeper

Day 4 La Union

In the morning we will be spent more time at La Minga before moving on to Union Valle via the wetlands of Laguna del Sonso where common waterbirds can be seen and Common Potoo, Crimson-crested Woodpecker and Dwarf Cuckoo occur in the surrounding forest. The road to the village of La Union cut through the Choco Cloud Forest where we will be do a productive birding walk around the park entrance.

Target species: Spectacled Parrolet, Black-bellied Whistling-duck, Blue-headed Parrot, Lineated Woodpecker, Dwarf Cuckoo, Greyish Piculet, Horned Screamer, Common Nighthawk, Green-and-black Fruiteater

Day 5 & 6 Parque de la Uva to Tinamu Birding Nature Reserve

Today we will transfer to Parque de la Uva where our focus will be on locating and photographing the incredible Ruby-topaz Hummingbird, a much coveted gem of circum-Amazonian savanna habitats.

In the afternoon our drive will take us Tinamu Birding Nature Reserve and our overnight accommodation. The afternoon and full next day here we will have a hummingbird photography workshop. The beautiful surrounding dry forest is the perfect setting and the bird feeder a photographer paradise. We will visit Golden-collared Manakin and Green Hermits leks as well as a Common Potoo roost.

Target species: Steely-vented Hummingbird, Western Emerald, White- necked Jacobin, Rufous-tailed Hummingbird, White-vented Plummeleteer, Green hermit, Black-throated Mango, Clay- coloured Thrush, Andean Motmot, Thick-billed Euphonia, Crimson-rumped Tanager, Acorn Woodpecker, Bay-headed Tanager, Blue-necked Tanager, Crimson-backed Tanager, Scrub Tanager, Blue-grey Tanager, Guira Tanager, Red-crowned Woodpecker

Day 7 & 8 Rio Blanco Reserve

After a morning of birding at Tinamu we will transfer to Rio Blanco Reserve located three kilometers from Manizales city. A multitude of Andean hummingbirds and tanagers as well as  4 kinds of antpittas occur here. We will include another multi-flash

Target species: Brown-banded Antpitta (endemic), Slate-crowned Antpitta, Bicolored Antpitta (near endemic), Chestnut-crowned Antpitta, Chestnut-naped Antpitta, Long-tailed Sylph, Speckled Hummingbird, Lesser and Sparkling Violetears, Collared and Bronzi Incas, Buff-tailed Coronet, Wedge-billed Hummingbird, Buff-breasted and Blue-winged Mountain Tanagers, Masked and White-sided Flowerpierces, Blue-capped and White-capped Tanagers, Slaty-, White-naped and Grey-browed Brush Finches, Green-and-black Fruiteater.

Day 9 Hacienda el Bosque

Today we visit a small feeding station in a huge cattle ranch where our focus will be on a few highly sought after species with excellent photographic opportunities.

Target species: Crescent-faced Antpitta, Rufous Antpitta, Grey-breasted Mountain Toucan, Barred Fruiteater, Golden-fronted Redstart, Rufous-breasted Chat-tyrant

Day 10 & 11 Termales del Ruiz Hotel

At 3400 meters above sea-level lies the Termales del Ruiz Hotel. We will spend our day on birding photography and have time to take a healthy thermal bath.  The many bird feeders maintained by the hotel staff provide excellent photo material.

We will spend the morning of our full day here photographing the amazing endemic Buffy Helmetcrest which is possible to see just 10 km from our hotel.

Target species: Black-thighed and Golden-breasted Pufflegs, Shining Sunbeam, Viridian and Tyrian Metaltails, Great Sapphirewing, Buff-winged Starfrontlet, Collared Inca, Mountain Velvetbreast and the amazing Rainbow-bearded Thornbill and many, many more.

Day 12 Jardin

We will spend most of the morning birding around the hotel. It is a 5 hour transfer to our next stop, Jardin. In the afternoon and if time allow we will visit one of the very best Cock-of-the-rock leks. We will return to the lek on day 14 .

Target species: Lacrimose Mountain-Tanager, Hooded Mountain-Tanager, White-throated Tyrannulets, Scarlet-bellied Mountain-Tanagers

Day 13 Yellow-eared Parrot Reserve and Ventanas

After a quick cup of coffee we'll get in 4-wheeler jeeps really early in the morning and drive to the top of the mountain where our main target awaits, the highly endangered Yellow eared parrot. The Yellow Eared Parrot Bird Reserve was established on May 6th, 2006, in order to ensure survival and to promote conservation actions targeting populations of Yellow-eared Parrot (Ognorhynchus icterotis) and Wax Palma (Ceroxylon quindiuense), national tree of Colombia and in danger of extinction, areas of Jardín, and Riosucio and Antioquia, Caldas, Colombia.W

We will visit the feeders at Lucia and then make stops along the road and taking short walks to get more interesting species of the region..

Taget species: Chestnut-naped Antpitta, Rufous Antpittas, Sword-billed Hummingbirds, Long-tailed Sylph, Mountain Velvetbreast, Tourmaline Sunangel and Buff-tailed coronet

Day 14 Jardin

Most of our morning will be spent on a second visit to the Cock-of-the-rock lek which will reward us with excellent close-up photographic opportunities. A last session at the feeders at our hotel will bring our day to a close before driving to Medellin late in the afternoon.

Photographic target: Andean Cock-of-the-rock

Target species: Flame-rumped Tanager, Golden Tanager, Blue-necked Tanager, Acorn Woodpecker, Bay-headed Tanager, Yellow-faced Grassquit, Golden-rumped Euphonia 

Day 15 Departure

End of trip and transfer to José María Córdova International Airport