Colombia: searching for endemic species in the Santa Marta Mountains  -  Alan Peters

With around 1900 bird species and almost 90 endemics, Colombia has always been an exciting destination for travelling birders.  Whilst the countries on its borders - Panama, Ecuador, Venezuela, Brazil and Peru - were welcoming birders and eco-tourists, Colombia throughout the 1990’s and 2000’s was pretty much off-limits due to the continuing violence between the Government and guerrilla groups and then the ongoing struggle with powerful and ruthless drug cartels.

In the last decade, especially since the government and the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) signed a peace accord, the country has got safer and tourism has begun to open up.

Alan visited in the spring of 2018, looking for an array of exciting species from the capital Bogota, the humid Caribbean coastline, arid Guajira Peninsula then gaining height to stay on the San Lorenzo ridge in the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta, the loftiest coastal mountain range on earth.

Great coffee, stunning forests, challenging roads and a wonderful range of colourful endemic species made for a great experience.

Updated 26th March 2020

Due to the current Covid 19 outbreak, the BOS has cancelled the April and May indoor meetings. If the current travel & social distancing restrictions remain in place or increase, we will also have to cancel the outdoor meetings scheduled for June through August. Read more ...

COVID-19 Update 25th March 2020: This survey will not go ahead this year due to government travel restrictions.

A survey of breeding birds, conducted using 3 visits over 3 months to a random 1km square. Read more ...

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