October 2, 2023

Medellin Leads Colombia as World Champion in ‘Global Big Day’ Bird-Survey Competition

The Medellin Mayor’s Office on May 13 hailed Medellin’s national leadership in the annual “Global Big Day” survey of bird species in Colombia and world-wide on May 9.

For the fourth straight year, Colombia won the global competition for the 24-hours survey, with 1,440 species recorded nationally. Colombia has by far the world’s greatest bird diversity, at 1,930 species — including migrants that mostly arrive in October but mainly leave in April, hence absent from the “Big Day” survey here.

Medellin birders “contributed 523 of these sightings, the highest number nationwide” of any Colombian city, the Mayor’s Office noted. All Antioquia recorded 600 species, beating all other Colombian departments.

Cornell University Ornithology Laboratory in New York coordinates the global survey, with data reported on the “eBird” platform.

“The Mayor’s Office of Medellín has participated in this competition since 2017 and this year contributed the highest number in the entire country,” according to the Mayor’s press bulletin.

Among the sightings were three endemics, seven near-endemics and two endemic subspecies.

“We demonstrate once again that Medellín is rich in biodiversity, that its ecosystems are full of life and that our city has great potential for ecotourism,” said Medellin Environment Secretary Diana Maria Montoya.

“We have a very big challenge. We must [protect] our fauna, respect it as an essential part of our ecosystems and be responsible for natural and ecological tourism in the different protected areas,” she added.

This year, biodiversity professionals visited the natural reserves around Medellin under biosecurity protocols, while bird-watching aficionados stuck in Coronavirus quarantine participated with observations from windows, patios and balconies of their homes and apartments.

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