I'm not the only one who has come to enjoy Colombia recently. As well as the many species of resident birds, their are quite a few migrants who come here in the Autumn (or should I say fall!) after breeding in North America.
There are many warblers in the trees and bushes around the city. From our balcony I now see Yellow Warblers (Setophaga petechia) nearly every day.
|Yellow Warbler (Setophaga petechia)|
|Black and White Warbler (Mniotilta varia)|
|Tennessee Warbler (Oreothlypis peregrina)|
I've also seen Bay-breasted Warbler (Setophaga castanea) from the balcony, and there are lots of Blackburnian Warbler (Setophaga fusca) around the city too. Many warblers present something of a challenge to ID here as many are not in their bright summer plumage. In addition, they are not singing at all, so I'll have to improve my ID skills.
|Black-whiskered Vireo (Vireo altiloquus)|
|There are a few other larger migrant birds. Summer Tanager (Piranga rubra) are common, both bright red (male) and dull yellow (females/juveniles).|
|Summer Tanager (Piranga rubra) female|
Last, but not least, on 29th October, late in the afternoon, I saw about 2000 Turkey Vultures (Cathartes aura) spread across the sky, circling and all moving south, high over the city. These vultures are a common sight in and around Bucaramanga, but as you usually see only a handful in one place, I had no doubt these were migrant birds and not residents.
|migrating Turkey Vultures (Cathartes aura)|
I found this website Turkey Vulture Migration Project which gives details of some GPS tagged North American Turkey Vultures. It seems some migrate from western Canada migrate to winter in the llanos of Venezuela, and, based on those tracks, I suspect the birds I saw may have been coming from there. If they want to go east of here to Venezuela, I'm not sure how they are crossing the high Eastern Cordillera of the Andes. Apparently over 100,000 Turkey Vultures cross the Darien Gap into Colombia in the Autumn, http://avesmigratoriascolombia.wordpress.com/. I'd love to see that, as well of some of the other migrating raptors. Perhaps there is still time for a few more sightings of migrants here this year?