Birding Bogotá & Colombia

La Florida Park

Key species

Endemics: Bogotá Rail, Silvery-throated Spinetail and Apolinar´s Wren.

Near endemic: Rufous-browed Conebill.

Endemic  subspecies: Spot-flanked Gallinule, American Coot and Yellow-headed Blackbird.


Andean Teal, Andean Duck, Noble Snipe, Subtropical Doradito, Black Flowerpiercer, Band-tailed Seadeater and Andean Siskin.

Approximate number of bird species: 113.
Height above sea level: 2680m (8790ft)

When the Spanish conquistadors arrived in the Sabana de Bogotá in 1537, by its Northern mountains, they marveled at the vast and beautiful plain crossed by lakes, marshes and dotted with hills and small indigenous villages. In these lakes and marshes there were large populations of aquatic birds, some resident and some migratory.

Geologists estimate that as recently as 30,000 years ago the Sabana de Bogotá was a large lake but sometime after a river cut through the southwestern edge of the plain and most of the lake drained, leaving a vast series of marshes. Today much of this wetland habitat has been further drained to make way for farmland and for the growth of the city of Bogotá and surrounding communities.

Fortunately a few wetlands remain where it is possible to appreciate some of the beauty and charm of this region. La Florida Park (Parque La Florida) is one of them. A walk along the lake edge can produce such species as Blue-winged Teal (a boreal migrant), Andean Ruddy Duck, Pied-billed Grebe, Common Gallinule, Spot-flanked Gallinule, American Coot, and Black-crowned Night-Heron, as well as Bare-faced Ibis, Southern Lapwing and sometimes, Least Grebe.

In tall reeds and cattails Bogotá Rail, Apolinar’s Wren, Noble Snipe and Subtropical Doradito can be found, although all these three species are shy and retiring, and occasionally a Striped Owl can be spotted roosting in the tall reeds. Other species in or near the reeds include the Sora (a northern migrant), as well as the endemic subspecies of Yellow-hooded Blackbird. In muddy lake shore areas several migratory waders may be found including Solitary Sandpiper, Greater and Lesser Yellowlegs, and Spotted Sandpiper.

Nearby trees and woodlands harbor Black Flowerpiercer, Band-tailed Seedeater, Yellow-backed Oriole and Smoky-brown Woodpecker and the near-endemic Rufous-browed Conebill. From August to April, several northern migratory species also can be found here including Tennessee and Blackburnian Warblers, Summer Tanager and Broad-winged Hawk, while in thickets and bushy areas we look for the endemic Silvery-throated Spinetail.

Birding Bogotá & Colombia´s early morning visits to La Florida Park can be combined with birding trips to El Tabacal Lagoon (click here), and/or the Enchanted Garden (click here), about an hour and one hour and a half west of La Florida Park, or with a cultural visit to the Historical Center of Bogotá (click here) including one or more of Bogotá’s excellent museums.

To visit La Florida Park email us at

Esta entrada también está disponible en: Spanish

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