Upon arriving at El Jardín Encantado in the municipality of San Francisco you will be overwhelmed by the sheer number of hummingbirds buzzing all around you. These are all in search of the sugary water offered to them in more than 28 feeders. Up to 200 hummers can be seen at any given time around a home located near the Cañas River at 1450 metres above sea level and 30 km west of Bogotá toward the Magdalena river valley. These hummers consume about 500 pounds of sugar a month.
Twenty five hummer species have been recorded at this location, and 10 species can be easily seen in any given visit, including specialties such as Gorgeted Woodstar and White-bellied Woodstar. Early in the morning possibilities include the Lazuline Sabrewing, and more commonly, Black-throated Mango, Rufous-tailed Hummingbird and White-vented Plumeteer that are always around. With a little luck, Brown Violetear, Green Hermit, Purple-crowned Fairy, Violet-crowned Woodnymph and Sparkling and Green violetears can be spotted. Rarer species that show up sporadically include Violet-bellied Hummingbird, Black Inca, Green-tailed Trainbearer, Steely-vented Hummingbird and Long-tailed Sylph.
The house also has a couple of fruit troughs where the near-endemic scrub tanager frequents. Crimson-backed as well as Grey-headed, Palm and Blue and Grey tanagers and thick-billed Euphonia can also be easily seen.
The road from Bogotá to El Jardín also offers spectacular views in a temperate climate. Among the flowers and fruits we can begin birding and spot Black-chested Mountain Tanager , Blue-necked Tanager and Rufous-browed Peppershrike.
Photo Credit: Diana Balcazar