Did you know that Colombia has the world’s highest bird diversity?
By some estimates, there are over 1,900 species here, comprising 20 percent of the bird diversity of the entire world. It means you don’t have to go very far to see an astonishing variety and number of feathered friends, and some are knock-out beautiful. This website, Birds of Colombia, is a great resource.
Our backyard in El Retiro, Colombia is built into a wooded slope that climbs rather steeply to the neighborhood above, and for some reason it seems to be a real birdy paradise. When I’m working, I look out on the whole thing – and the daily avian drama can be pretty distracting! I’ve never really thought of myself as a birder, and I’m certainly no great bird photographer. But I’ve taken to keeping my camera on my desk to make sure I don’t miss any interesting backyard bird sightings or another new species that’s come to check out our makeshift feeder.
Here’s a look at some of our backyard birds.
My Facebook friends are probably getting sick of my motmots! I have taken hundreds of photos of these beauties, who don’t seem to mind sitting still for minutes at a time and posing. And sometimes they’ll hop around for a rear view – they seem to know their tail feathers are spectacular!
Who needs roosters when you have chachalacas? They are about the size of a small turkey, and their name comes from the LOUD and raucous calls they make early in the morning. This is EXACTLY what they sound like (credit: Ross Gallardy at DiBird.com). What a wake-up call!
Kiskadees are super-common here, but they have only recently started venturing into our backyard bird sanctuary.
These little lovelies are also really common but harder to photograph, since they tend to flit around a lot.
These birds are really skittish, and I have yet to get a really decent shot of one. But they also have been more numerous in our backyard lately. I’ll keep trying, and maybe I’ll come up with a better photo one of these days!
Hmm, maybe I’m turning into a birder after all! As John and I spot and photograph new (to us) species of backyard birds, we’ll keep adding to this post.
Have a lovely and nature-filled week, everyone!