Monday, June 17, 2019

In another sign of growing efforts to promote environmental conservation and related eco-oriented tourism here, the Medellin Mayor’s Office on October 26 announced the rediscovery of a rare hummingbird in the El Volador nature reserve inside the city.

“After 15 years, the ‘Ruby Topaz’ hummingbird [Chrysolampis mosquitus] returned to the Cerro El Volador regional nature park,” the Mayor’s Office announced..

“According to the Biodiversity Information System, 6.4% of Colombia's biodiversity is found in Medellín. The Mayor’s Office has approximately COP$1 billion [US$314,000] to invest in environmental management” at the city’s iconic hilltop reserves including El Volador and Cerro Nutibara, the office noted.

The Ruby Topaz hummingbird “is a usually solitary species that frequents flowers at varying heights, sometimes on large, flowering trees,” according to the office

This bird “inhabited the Aburrá Valley until about 15 years ago, but since then there has been no record of it. Thanks to the actions of the Mayor’s Office of Medellín in the [hilltop reserves], it has been observed again in the Cerro El Volador Regional Natural Park, where, in 2018, a total of 106 other species have been spotted.

“The Municipal Administration carries out integral interventions that contribute to the improvement of the air quality and to the preservation of the environment in the hilltop reserves. These include, among others, the sowing of gardens that have allowed the return of butterflies and bees -- and now of this species of hummingbird, which many ornithologists and bird lovers will want to appreciate and enjoy.

“Also during 2018, five new species of wild animals have been reported that returned to the forests, reserves and streams of Medellin,” the office noted.

Medellin-based Sociedad Antioqueña de Ornitologia (SAO) is organizing a birding trip to El Voladar on Saturday, November 3. More information:

In a keynote speech to the fourth annual Medellin Bird Festival (Festival de las Aves Medellin 2017), World Wildlife Fund (WWF-Colombia) strategic alliances director John Myers revealed that Colombia generally and Medellin/Antioquia specifically have tremendous potential for expanding profitable, socially beneficial birdwatching tours.

 Citing two recent scientific studies – one in Tropical Conservation Science (see: Economic and Conservation Potential for Bird-Watching Tourism in Post-Conflict Colombia, and Elsevier (Peace is Much More than Doves: The Economic Benefits of Bird-Based Tourism as a Result of the Peace Treaty in Colombia, -- Myers revealed that the average North American international bird-watching tourist would be willing to pay about US$310 per day to join a 10-days-long group birding tour in Colombia.

That’s about US$60 per day more than North American bird-watchers typically would pay for birding tours in Costa Rica -- the world’s most-popular international destination for bird tourism, Myers explained here.



The 2016 edition of the annual Festival de Aves de Medellin organized by the Sociedad Antioqueña de Ornitologia (SAO) this year includes three birding-trip packages to spectacular sites – two in Jardin, and one in Rio Claro, all in Antioquia.

Sparked by the world’s richest avian diversity, bird-watching around greater Medellin, Antioquia, and Colombia continues to grow at an accelerated pace -- thanks to better organization, an improving security situation and better infrastructure.

Thanks to audacious investments starting 14 years ago, a new, 250-hectares private nature reserve near Medellin -- dubbed “Manantiales” -- can be seen as a font of renewed hope and restoration following Colombia’s decades of violence and environmental destruction. Leer más 

Among the encouraging signs of Colombia’s and Antioquia’s recuperating economy, environment and security situation is a growing network of private nature reserves – overwhelmingly founded by native Colombians, but now including a few “rare-bird” expats.

One such rare-bird migrant is North American-born biologist and construction contractor Doug Knapp, who two years ago launched the “La Esperanza” birding lodge and private reserve just outside Jardin, Antioquia.

Overlooking Jardin and within sight of the spectacular Farallones de Citara mountan range is Knapp’s six-hectare reserve (at 2,000 meters above sea level), where he and Colombian colleagues have built rather luxurious guest cabins and laid-out trails inside a regenerating forest.Leer más 

Unless you’re accompanied by a local, expert birder -- such as someone from the Medellin-based Sociedad Antioqueño de Ornitologia (SAO), or a guide specially trained by the SAO – then birding in and around Medellin can be frustrating, especially for recent newcomers.

 Medellin-based Sociedad Antioqueña de Ornitología (SAO) announced July 28 that it will host its fourth annual Medellin Bird Festival on October 11-16, 2017, featuring guided birding walks around the city, expert lectures by Colombian and international ornithology researchers and birding excursions to world-famous sites such as Jardin (Antioquia) and Manizales (Caldas).

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Monday, 31 August 2015 18:44

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Monday, 31 August 2015 18:44

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NEW GUIDE "Avifauna de Colombia" (link by clicking on book)



Volunteering February 20 2017 0
As the late North American philosopher A.B. Johnson once quipped, “mighty oaks from little acorns…

About Medellin Herald

Medellin Herald is a locally produced, English-language news and advisory service uniquely focused upon a more-mature audience of visitors, investors, conference and trade-show attendees, property buyers, expats, retirees, volunteers and nature lovers.

U.S. native Roberto Peckham, who founded Medellin Herald in 2015, has been residing in metro Medellin since 2005 and has traveled regularly and extensively throughout Colombia since 1981.

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