Parque la Florida is located in the western fringes of the City of Bogota. This area was once a vast lake surrounded by mountains and when it drained more than 30,000 years ago, it left behind an extensive network of wetlands and lagoons. Over time, these wetlands have been drained to make way for agriculture, leaving only isolated examples of wetland habitats. Although few of these wetlands remain today, they provide sanctuary to a few species endemic to the area. One of these lagoons is located within the park. In our visit to the park, we will have an excellent opportunity to see the avian richness that this area once supported.

We will walk along the lagoon toward extensive reedbeds where we will look for two local endemic species: the Bogotá Rail, and the Apolinar's Marsh Wren. These are very wary species but with a bit of luck we will be able to see them. We will also look for the rare Subtropical Doradito, Yellow-hooded Blackbird and Band-tailed Seedeater.

On our way back we will scan the water for Andean Duck, and Spot-flanked Gallilule. The forests surrounding the wetlands can produce astounding surprises, including views of the endemic Silvery-throated Spinetail, Yellow-Backed Oriole, Smoky Brown Woodpecker, and the near-endemic Rufous-browed Conebill. During northern winters, we can spot Summer Tanager, Tennessee warbler, and Broad-winged Hawk.

Photo Credit: Diana Balcazar