Birding Areas
(more soon, stay tuned!)
Northern Central Andes
Core of the Central Andes
Eastern Andes
Western Andes of Antioquia
Pacific Chocó Lowlands
Mid Magdalena Valley
Llanos and E Andean slopes
Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta


Western Andes of Antioquia (Ventanas and Jardín surroundings)
Noisy flocks of Yellow-eared Parrots everywhere!

The Western Andes of Colombia encompass several great birding areas. The beautiful Jardín municipality, in western Antioquia, makes a perfect home base from which to explore this scenic region. Jardín (“the garden”) is a colorful old colonial town decorated with a rainbow of architecture, flowers all over the place, and a stunning central square. The forests near this charming traditional town, located at an elevation of about 2000-2500 m, harbor many marvelous Andean birds.


Just 30 minutes driving from town is the Alto de Ventanas, where we begin our intensive birding for restricted-range species: near-endemic Tanager Finches can be found all along the road, roaming with mixed feeding flocks of tanagers, hummingbirds, flycatchers, and warblers, and as one proceeds to the highest part of the road, a pair of Chestnut-crested Cotingas and the endemic Dusky Starfrontlet may be found. While being dazzled by the enormous bird activity, we make sure to keep our ears open for the calls of the endemic and highly-endangered Yellow-eared Parrot; as a rule, these magnificent birds will provide close views as they come in to feed or roost just before dusk. All members of our birding crews have had the enormous pleasure of spotting this rarity, once thought to be totally extirpated from Colombia.


Around Jardín there are several places well worth spending an additional day to bird. A splendid array of tanagers, euphonias, chlorophonias and hummingbirds gather in flowering mistletoes and bromeliads in small patches of forest on the outskirts of town. Occasionally we have found a stunning, bright dark-orange male Andean Cock-of-the-Rock in a stream, just behind the comfortable hotel where we always lodge in town! Hotel Hacienda Balandú always leaves all our tourists exceedingly satisfied; it offers more comfort than you would think possible for a small town in the W Andes, plus all the charm of a colonial hacienda. As a bonus, we usually visit the nearby Támesis municipality coffee shade plantations, where almost effortlessly we can add another endemic to the tour list: Turquoise Dacnis. Note: if you are fan of orchids, you’re going to love Jardin!

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