For birders, Colombia really is number one! Not only have more species been recorded there than in any other country, but almost one-fifth of the world’s birds occur in Colombia, packed into an area slightly greater than 1,100,000 km2.
Stretching east to west from the Orinoco River to the Pacific Ocean, and north to south from the Caribbean to Amazonian headwaters, the country’s topography is remarkably diverse. Here, the Andes are separated into three ranges by two important valleys, the Cauca and the Magdalena, and there are two very important massifs, Santa Marta and Perijá, in the north of the country—in particular, the Santa Marta range is one of the great endemic hotspots in the world. In recent years, a series of standard birding routes has evolved, many of them focused on the country’s privately and publicly owned protected areas, permitting keen birders to see nearly all of Colombia’s many special birds, from extravagantly plumaged parrots and hummingbirds to skulking antpittas.
Nevertheless, in South America the capacity to escape the beaten track and make novel findings is perhaps nowhere better than Colombia, as exemplified by the recent discovery of an apparently new species of antpitta close to the city of Cali.
Taxonomy follows the HBW and BirdLife International Illustrated Checklist of the Birds of the World.
Detailed texts covering status, habitat and behaviour, age, sex and geographical variation, voice, and confusion species.
Almost 3000 illustrations covering all species and distinctive subspecies, birds in flight, males and females, juveniles and non-breeding plumages, where appropriate.
QR code for each species, linked to complementary audiovisual material.
Close to 2000 full-colour range maps for all regularly occurring species.
Well-marked subspecies groups receive full accounts, and the distributions of subspecies breeding in the region are clearly mapped.
Local species names included.
Features: 2089 species and subspecies groups; 111 endemics, 85 near-endemics, 3 introduced, 69 vagrants.
Over 3000 illustrations and close to 2000 distribution maps.
Author: Steven L. Hilty
Steve received his PhD in Zoology from the University of Arizona and is currently a Research Associate in Ornithology at the Biodiversity Institute & Natural History Museum of the University of Kansas. He has worked as a bird guide for Victor Emanuel Nature Tours (VENT) since 1983, leading tours throughout North and South America, and co-leading trips to India, the Orient and Australasia. Currently his tour schedule is filled with interesting trips to different areas of Colombia. Steve is a renown bird expert and author, having co-authored A Guide to the Birds of Colombia and authored Birds of Venezuela and Birds of Tropical America: A Watcher's Introduction to Behaviour, Breeding, and Diversity. He also wrote the Tanager chapter for Volume 16 of our own Handbook of Birds of the World. He has also published many scientific papers and has described two bird species new to science in Venezuela, and another with a team of colleagues in Colombia.