Book Review: “Birdwatching in Colombia” by Jurgen Beckers and Pablo Flores



_DSC0366At Montezuma I was lucky enough to meet Colombian birding guide Pablo Flores, co-author of a great new resource for birders visiting Colombia : the book “Birdwatching In Colombia”

This book is a mine of useful information on where to go in this enchanting country for birds, and includes information on how to get to the top places, and what species can be expected once you get there.  It also includes an plenty of maps and pictures, and is available online.  At 274 pages it fits comfortably alongside your copy of  ProAves’ Field Guide to Colombia (another useful book for Colombian birding, and the only attempt at so far at a portable guide, an understandable challenge given the 1855 species that need to be included, reviewed here).

In recent weeks I have had an opportunity to road-test the book at birding sites in the departments of Antióquia, Risaralda, Boyacá, and Valle del Cauca.  In each case I have found the book extremely useful, leading me to great views of the endemic Gold-ringed Tanager which graces the cover for example, and the beautiful Multicoloured Tanager.  The site entries have a good balance between descriptions of the locality, lists of the birds you can find, and info on how to get there, plus a few beautiful and tantalizing photos of highlights from each.  The authors, both with many years experience in Colombian birding, have also found space for a well-considered introductory section with useful entries on health and safety for example, as well as coverage of important recent changes to the taxonomy of Colombia’s birdlife.  I have found though that for someone unfamiliar with the area, the simple maps included need a bit of assistance from online searches or other maps.  Once arrived on site however, they serve their purpose well.  I can recommend this book to anyone planning a trip to explore Colombia’s incredible landscapes and avian biodiversity.

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