From lush Andean foothills to vast prairies (‘Los Llanos’) leading right into the Orinoco region with its rivers, mangrove swamps and savannah forests, this department boasts with an abundance and richness in birds – from familiar to exotic. Here comes the ultimate sample list.
1. Scarlet Ibis (Eudocimus ruber – locally: Corocora)
2. Hoatzin (Opisthocomus hoazin – locally: Chenchena)
They are seen in groups along rivers and in mangroves or mangrove like forests.
3. Jabiru (Jabiru mycteria – locally: gabán, garzón soldado)
4. Capped heron (Pilherodius pileatus – locally: garza crestada)
5. Roseate spoon bill (Platalea ajaja – locally: garza cuchara)
6. Black-hawk eagle (Spizaetus tyrannus)
7. Rufous-vented chachalaca (Ortalis ruficauda – locally: guacharaca)
8. Buff-necked ibis (Theristicus caudatus – locally: Coclí)
9. Burrowing owl (Athene cunicularia)
10. Orinoco goose (Neochen jubata)
11. Oriole Blackbird (Gymnomystax mexicanus – locally: turpial)
12. Crested Oropendola (Psarocolius decumanus)
13. Crimson-crested woodpecker (Campephilus melanoleucos)
They feed on wood-boring insects and larvae, as well as ants, termites, small vertebrates and caterpillars.
14. Brown Jacamar (Brachygalba lugubris)
15. Blue-crowned motmot (Momotus momota)
16. Chestnut-eared aracari (Pteroglossus castanotis)
17. Sunbittern (Eurypyga helias – locally: Tigana or Garza de Sol)
18. Macaw (Ara)
19. Yellow crowned parrot (Amazona ochrocephala – locally: loro)
20. Horned screamer (Anhima cornuta – locally: Arauco)
The birding list of Los Llanos goes on and on and on and we could easily turn this into a book. With about 350 species of birds in Casanare alone this region may well be Colombia’s best kept birding secret. And unlike a trip to the Amazon or other jungle areas the vast flat savannahs allow easy access and sighting of birds, mammals and reptiles.
A trip down the Ariporo by boat, for example, will feel like a visit to the zoo where you can lean back and tick off your list of birds. A trip to our finca La Independencia, just 30 minutes from Yopal, will get you crane your neck and spot herons, hoatzins, hawks, vultures, kites, spoonbills and ibises while at Villa Pepita Eco Lodge at the foot of the Andes an abundance of woodpeckers, chachalacas, parrots, toucans, hawks, herons, jays, oropendulas, aracaris, jacamars, motmots and orion blackbirds awaits you.
Have you done birding in Colombia? In Casanare? Which of the above have you seen yet? And where? We’d be thrilled to hear!
For any questions around birds and birding tours in Casanare feel free to drop us a line here.