Chingaza is a 76,000 hectare National Park nestled in the eastern Andes and located approximately 50 km from Bogota, the Nation's capital. This park features amazing landscapes covered in lush montane forests and high elevation frailejon (Espeletia sp.) and polylepsis habitats in the higher subpáramo and páramo areas. The park is lined with small streams, lagoons, wetlands and rivers which supply 80% of Bogota's potable water.
A total of 215 species of birds have been recorded in the park, including several endemic and near endemic species to the eastern cordillera. During our ascent into the park we will pass the town of La Calera, a quaint town used for many locals as a weekend destination. After passing la Calera we will begin to bird along the road looking for endemics like Silvery-throated Spinetail and Matorral Tapaculo. Near-endemics along the route include Rufous-browed Conebill and Golden-fronted Whitestart. As we continue to climb in elevation possibilities include Bronze-tailed Thornbill, Coppery-bellied Puffleg and Rufous Antpitta. Further up we will look for Plushcap in chusquea (Bamboo) patches and the Many-striped Canastero. Other species to look out for include Streak-throated Bush Tyrant and the magnificent Black-tailed Trainbearer.
We will descend in elevation for a small stretch and look for the endemic Brown-banded Parakeet and other target species like Blue-throated Starfrontlet, Black-Billed Mountain Toucan, Powerful Woodpecker, Andean Guan, Mountain Cacique and Black-collared Jay. As we climb back into the Paramo, we will look for Bearded Helmetcrest among flowering Frailejones and for Merida Speckled Teal in wetlands.
Photo Credit: Diana Balcazar