May 19, 2024

Medellin’s 6th Annual Bird Festival October 10-14: Great Chances to See, Hear & Learn About Our Amazing Wild Birds, Nature

The 6th annual Medellin Bird Festival (organized by Sociedad Antioqueña de Ornitologia, SAO) kicks off October 10-14 with a colorful variety of birdwatching opportunities, expert conferences, special workshops and film festivals.

The annual event (see: is officially sponsored by the city of Medellin and taps dozens of allies including Area Metropolitana Valle de Aburra (AMVA, the metropolitan council of governments), the Antioquian departmental government, Comfama, ProAntioquia, Mineros SA, Bon Bonite, EAFIT University, Parque Explora, Jardin Botanico, Conservation International and Medellin Herald, among many others.

This year’s festival highlights the recent rediscovery of the Antioquia Brushfinch (Atlapetes Blancae, see photo above) — thought extinct until last year when biologists miraculously stumbled upon it near the appropriately named town of San Pedro de los Milagros, Antioquia.

As noted by SAO member and Festival director Jorjany Botero, Medellin and Antioquia have “a privileged geographical position, practically at the center of diversity of the neotropical north . . . . [including] diverse ecosystems of the biogeographic Chocó [and] Bajo Cauca-Nechí regions, considered among the most biodiverse points in the world, [plus] the Middle Magdalena Valley and the unique high-Andean ecosystems.”

“Medellín is the epicenter of the Metropolitan Area of Aburrá Valley where more than 500 species have been registered . . . in a country currently recognized as the number one in megadiversity of birds,” she added.

Among featured speakers for this year’s Festival:

1. Conservation International-Colombia director John Myers;
2. Colombia’s internationally renowned birding expert (and Medellin native) Diego Calderón; 
3. Bird-tourism pioneer Laura María Miranda Cortes;
4. Antioquia Brushfinch expert Andrea Lopera;
5. American Bird Conservancy international programs director Wendy Willis;
6. Fundación Jocotoco Ecuador director Martin Schaefer; 
7. Colombia’s top bird photographer Rodrigo Gaviria; and
8. Colombia Ornithological Association founders Loreta Rosselli and F. Gary Stiles.

Besides offering several opportunities for guided bird-walks in and around Medellin (prior registration required), the Festival also includes out-of-town, overnight options to Antioquian specialty areas including Maceo, Tamesis, San Jeronimo, Fredonia and San Rafael.

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