ORNITHOLOGY / BIRDWATCHING


ORNITHOLOGY / BIRDWATCHING

“The Río Claro Reserve is a Colombian treasure, combining the best of all worlds—good food, lodging, easy access, and a first rate wildlife experience. For birders and naturalists, or anyone who wants to experience a beautiful natural area, this forested canyon with its crystal clear river is perfect. Among its highlights are charming little White-footed Tamarins, and an array of birds that include oilbirds at a natural cave, parrots, toucans, motmots, colorful tanagers, several species that are endemic to Colombia, and dozens more that are scarce or difficult to find elsewhere. It is, in short, a superb natural area with wide appeal.”

 Steve Hilty—Senior guide with Victor Emanuel Nature Tours and author of a Guide to the Birds of Colombia (Guía de las Aves de Colombia), Birds of Venezuela, and Birds of Tropical America.

Steve Hily - Luis Uruena (2)

Steve Hilty  

 Fotografía: Luis Urueña -  Manakin Nature Tours

SPECIES # 1

English name: Colombian Chachalaca

Name in Spanish: Guacharaca Colombiana

Scientific name: Ortalis columbiana

Status: LC (Least Concern) & Colombian endemic (Andean slopes and inter-Andean valleys)

Where to find it in Rio Claro (habitat and area): canopy and subcanopy on open and semi-open areas, and secondary forests. Found in the reserve entrance, camping area, and higher section of La Mulata trail. Areas where Cecropia is fruiting are key to find these noisy birds.

 Photo: Juan David Ramirez.

SPECIES # 2

English name: White-mantled Barbet

Name in Spanish: Torito Capiblanco

Scientific name: Capito hypoleucus

Status: VU (Vulnerable) & Colombian endemic (Cauca & Magdalena river valleys and Andean slopes)

Where to find it in Rio Claro (habitat and area): canopy in open and semi-open areas, secondary forest and edges of primary forest. Found in the reserve entrance, camping area, all along the access road, in the La Mulata cabins area and the trail that follows the creek as well as in the main trail along the river. Semi-open areas with death tree trunks are quite good for this cavity-nesting species.

 Photo: Juan David Ramirez.

SPECIES # 3

English name: Beautiful Woodpecker

Name in Spanish: Carpintero Bonito

Scientific name: Melanerpes pulcher

Status: LC (Least Concern) & Colombian endemic (Magdalena Valley)

Where to find it in Rio Claro (habitat and area): canopy and sub-canopy in open and semi-open areas, and secondary forest. Found in the reserve entrance, camping area, and the higher section of La Mulata trail. Semi-open areas with death tree trunks are very attractive for this cavity-nesting species.

 Photo: Diego Calderón-Franco

COLOMBIA Birding – www.colombiabirding.com

SPECIES # 4

English name: Antioquia Bristle-Tyrant

Name in Spanish: Tiranuelo Antioqueño

Scientific name: Phylloscartes lanyoni

Status: EN (Endangered) & Colombian endemic (Cauca & Magdalena river valleys)

Where to find it in Rio Claro (habitat and area): sub-canopy of dense primary and secondary forest. La Mulata creek and its trail are the best area to find it but it is also possible in the main trail along the river.

 Photo: Juan Jose Arango.

 SPECIES # 5

English name: Sooty Ant-Tanager

Name in Spanish: Había Ahumada

Scientific name: Habia gutturalis

Status: NT (Near Threatened) & Colombian endemic (Magdalena Valley)

Where to find it in Rio Claro (habitat and area): understory of dense second growth and secondary forests. Found sporadically around the camping areas and in the higher section of the La Mulata creek trail. Areas with dense foliage are key to see this noisy species.

 Photo: Peter Hawrylshyn

 SPECIES # 6

English name: Saffron-headed Parrot

Name in Spanish: Cotorra Cabeciamarilla

Scientific name: Pyrilia pyrilia

Status: NT (Near Threatened) & Colombian near-endemic (Magdalena Valley, Pacific Choco, and Andean slopes – also in Panama and Venezuela)

Where to find it in Rio Claro (habitat and area): canopy in open and semi-open areas, and in primary and secondary forest. Found along the entrance road, and main trail along the river, as well as in La Mulata trail. Areas with fruiting trees are good for groups of these quite silent parrots.

 Photo: Tatiana Pérez.

SPECIES # 7

English name: Citron-throated Toucan

Name in Spanish: Tucán Limón

Scientific name: Ramphastos citreolaemus

Status: LC (Least Concern) & Colombian near-endemic (Magdalena Valley – also in Venezuela)

Where to find it in Rio Claro (habitat and area): canopy of open and semi-open areas, secondary forest and dense primary forest. Found in the reserve entrance, camping area, along the whole entrance road, the restaurant area, La Mulata creek trail and the main trail along the river. Emergent tall tree always offer better views of these colorful toucans and also areas with death tree trunks are attractive for them to nest.

SPECIES # 8

English name: Magdalena Antbird

Name in Spanish: Hormiguero del Magdalena

Scientific name: Myrmeciza palliata

Status: NT (Near Threatened) & Colombian near-endemic (Magdalena Valley – also in Venezuela)

Where to find it in Rio Claro (habitat and area): understory of open or dense secondary growing and also in relatively pristine forest. Found in the main trail along the river and at La Mulata creek trail. Always look for this species in the right habitat near creeks and rivers.

 Photo: Fabrice Schmitt

SPECIES # 9

English name: Dusky-faced Tanager

Name in Spanish: Maraquera Carisucia

Scientific name: Mitrospingus cassinii

Status: LC (Least Concern) & even not endemic or near-endemic to Colombia, it is restricted to the Choco and to the Magdalena Valley (also in Costa Rica, Panama and Ecuador)

Where to find it in Rio Claro (habitat and area): understory and subcanopy of semi-open second growth on any stage. Found along La Mulata cabins and trail and also along the main trail long the river. Investing some time birding along watercourses always pays to find numerous groups of this noisy species.

 Photo: Mary Torres Escobar.

ESPECIE # 10

Nombre en inglés: Oilbird

Nombre en español: Guácharo 

Nombre científico: Steatornis caripensis

Estatus: LC (Preocupación menor = Least Concern) & es una especie cosmopolita que habita en varios países de Centro y Sur América en cuevas de tierras bajas y piedemontes.

Dónde encontrarla en Río Claro (hábitat & zona): Esta especie vive en cuevas y cavernas en cercanía a cursos de agua donde pasa la mayor parte del día; en las noches salen a forrajear en la parte alta (dosel) del bosque en busca de frutos de palmas (Arecaceae) y aguacatillos (Lauraceae) principalmente. Sendero río arriba se encuentra la Cueva de Los Guacharos. Es clave legar antes del anochecer (aproximadamente 6 PM) para esperar el espectáculo de la salida de miles de guacharos de la cueva.

Fotografía: Daniel Mulheman