Birds of the Orinoco


This compendium of the most common birds of the Colombian Orinoco watershed comes to us thanks to the generous contribution of the Fundación Orinoquía who have enabled us to present this excellent scientific and graphic work. The original project of the Foundation is called "Birds of the Municipality of Puerto Carreno" and consists of brochures and posters of the birds present in the municipality that has an extension 12.409 square kilometers (larger than countries such as Lebanon or Puerto Rico), a project that was born after an ornithological investigation in several areas of the municipality and has been used in educational campaigns in the schools of Puerto Carreno and in other towns of the Department of Vichada.


Neochen jubata (orinoco Goose). The only native goose in Colombia. Is categorized as a near threatened specie due to pressure by the hunting.

CAIRINACairina moschata (Muscovy Duck). Shy and arboreal; their populations are scarce as it is highly pursued by hunters.

MITUMitu tomentosum (Crestless Curassow). Belongs to one of the most threatened bird groups due to the constant alteration and destruction of their habitats.

PHALACOCORAXPhalacrocorax brasilianus (Neotropical Cormorant). Throughout the year it is possible to see them over submerged trees in search of armored catfish, his favorite prey.

ANHINGAAnhinga anhinga (Anhinga). Known as "bird snake", since anhinga In Tupi Language is the name for a malicious spirit that dwelt in the forest and was half snake and half bird.

ARDEAArdea cocoi (Cocoi Heron, related to Blue Heron). It belongs to the family of the herons, which are characterized by their long legs and necks, the beak is straight and acute. Most of the time you can see it patiently waiting on the shores to catch fish.

JABIRUJabiru mycteria (Jabiru). This stork can measure more than a meter of height, weight six kilograms, and can have a wingspan (tip to tip) of two meters and a half.

SARCORAMPHUSSarcoramphus papa (King Vulture). Belongs to the cathartid family (air purifiers), consumes animal corpses and recycles the energy contained in the bodies to allow it to be used again within ecosystems.

PANDIONPandion haliaetus (Osprey). Common boreal migrant between October and April, although a few individuals remain throughout the year. Feeds exclusively on fish.

CARACARACaracara cheriway (Crested Caracara). Its name comes from indigenous languages of both Brazil and Venezuela, since that are native to the greater part of the American continent.

ARAMIDESAramides cajaneus (Grey-necked Wood-rail). Very suspicious and difficult to see, but you often hear their powerful and vigorous choir at dawn or dusk.

EURYPYGAEurypyga helias (Sunbittern). Named for its striking coloration pattern when opening its wings in exhibition of threat.

VANELLUS CHILENSISVanellus chilensis (Southern Lapwing). “Nature don’t gave to the Southern Lapwing the best attributes to fly (thick neck and ashort, tiny tail), but despite everything it flies because he likes it, because he is courageous" (Germán Castro Caicedo).

VANELLUS CAYANUSVanellus cayanus (Pied Lapwing). A small bird, very attractive, generally solitary, although it is common to see it running by couples on the sandy beaches.

CHARADRIUSCharadrius collaris (Collared Plover). The most common of the plovers of the Orinooco watershed, spends the day and the night running on the sandy beaches.

BURHINUSBurhinus bistriatus (Double-stripped Thick-knee). Known locally as "Guerere" or "Savannah lapwing", is an excellent runner, but when feels threatened it bows and hides among the pastures.

RYNCHOPSRynchops niger (Black Skimmer). Hunts skimming the water with its scissor like beak. It is common to see it resting on sandy islands.

PATAGIOENIASPatagioenas cayennensis (pale vented Pigeon). The pigeons of those forests are large and generally gather in groups in top of the trees where they feed on fruits.

ARA CHOROPTERAAra chloropterus ( Mackaw). Intelligent and inquisitive, does not like solitude; is usually found in pairs or in small groups, perhaps relatives.

AMAZONAAmazona festiva (Festive Parrot). Belongs to the great family of the parrots (parrots, macaws, cockatoos, parrotlets and parakeets), because of their great ability to imitate sounds are trafficked and sold illegally as pets.

OPISTHOCOMUSOpisthocomus hoazin (Hoatzin). With a prehistoric appearance is known as "stinky turkey" or "Arboreal cow" since it eats tree leaves then digested by a specialized previous stomach.

CROTOPHAGACrotophaga ani (Smooth-billed Ani). It is common in pastures and stays close to the livestock in noisy family groups.

ATHENEAthene cunicularia (Burrowing Owl). You can see it on poles and wire-fences generally at sunrise and at sunset. Few people know that his house is under ground.

Amazilia versicolorAmazilia versicolor (Versicloured Hummingbird). 162 species of these tiny birds live in Colombia, They eat insects and visit flowers searching for nectar and pollinating plants. The Hummingbirds are small, territorial and aggressive.

MEGACERYLEMegaceryle torquata (Ringed Kingfisher). Kingfishers are excellent fish hunters of small and large rivers in the world, and we also found some species in the Orinoco basin.

CAMPEPHILUSCampephilus melanoleucos (Crimson Crested Woodpecker). Constantly searching for insects by hammering the highest branches of the trees with its mighty beak.

CNEMOTRICCUSCnemotriccus fuscatus (Fuscous flycatcher). Belongs to a large and diverse group with more than 203 species in Colombia. Capture insects by short flights from branches.

PAROARIAParoaria nigrogenis (Masked Cardinal). Recently classified as a new species, is known locally as "phosphorus head" or " red beret" by the intense red coloration of its crown.

QUISCALUSQuiscalus lugubris (Carib Grackle). Notorious and daring. Flocks of jays and grackles meet in the parks of the towns at dusk to rest in communal nests.