Global Big Day 2023 is Coming!

October big day-4

This Saturday, May 13th is the Global Big Day. Along with birdwatchers and ornithologists around the world, we’ll be taking part in this event.

For those who aren’t familiar, Global Big Day is an annual event where birdwatchers all around the world come together to register and count as many bird species as possible. The event aims to document the various bird species globally and upload data to ebird for scientists and conservationists to track the populations of different bird species.

This year at Avistando Aves Andinas – Andean Birdwatching, we’ll be participating from out beautiful hometown of Salento, Quindío. Salento is located in the heart of Colombia’s coffee region and is known for its stunning landscapes, colourful houses, and its proximity to the Cocora Valley, which is home to the Quindío Wax Palm, the tallest palm tree species in the world. It is also home to an impressive variety of bird species, making it an ideal location for birdwatching.

On the Global Big Day, we’ll be participating at two key locations close to Salento. Our guides will lead local birdwatchers at Santa Rita nature reserve, and the Camino Nacional. Both of these places are hotspots where we expect to register a great variety of bird species.

Birdwatching at Santa Rita is one of our most popular tours in Salento. This traditional dairy farm just outside Salento is currently undergoing a remarkable transformation into a thriving nature reserve, preserving the region’s natural ecosystem. The mixture of native trees including wax palm, yarumo, and Colombian Oak is now home to at least 180 species, including 5 endemics. On the Global Big Day, we are aiming to register Multicolour Tanager

 (Chlorochrysa nitidissima), Chestnut Wood-Quail (Odontophorus hyperythrus), Andean Cock-of-the-rock (Rupicola peruvianus), Crested Ant-Tanager (Había cristata), Red-ruffed Fruitcrow (Pyroderus scutatus) and many others.

The Camino Nacional is an old dirt road which connects Salento with Ibague, used by Alexander von Humboldt and Aimé Bomplant during their botanic expeditions in Colombia. On this Global Big Day, we’ll be birding at the highest point of the road, called La Línea, on the border between Quindío and Tolima departments. We hope to take advantage of the recent good weather here in Salento and observe species such as Crimson-mantled Woodpecker (Colaptes rivolii), Occellated Tapaculo (Acropternis orthonyx), Hooded Mountain-Tanager (Buthraupis montana), Grey-breasted Mountain-Toucan (Andigena hypoglauca)  and if we are very lucky Indigo-winged Parrot (Halopsittaca fuertesi) and Black-and-Chestnut Eagle (Spizaetus isidori)!

Even though every day is a big day for birdwatching in Salento, at Avistando Aves Andinas – Andean Birdwatching we are always looking out for opportunities to document local species and contribute to conservation efforts.


We’re looking forward to sharing this Global Big Day with birders here in Salento and around the world. While we’re heading out to some exciting local spots, you can join in from wherever you are based, even if it’s just in your own garden. Why not take part? If you’re interested in joining the Global Big Day check out the official information from eBird and grab your binoculars!

Let us know how you plan to spend this Global Big Day, and stay tuned for our next post about how it went.