Nicholas Bayly, Migratory Species Manager with SELVA, a Colombia-based NGO founded in 2009, has been working at a newly identified stopover site in the dry forest remnants in the department of Córdoba, Colombia monitoring migrant passage since March 23rd this year. In the guest blog below, Nick shares with EFTA some of the exciting things they are learning, as well as the migrants they have seen moving through the area this spring. Research and monitoring efforts in this part of Colombia are part of SELVA’s mission to undertake rigorous scientific research programs that facilitate the design, promotion and implementation of conservation actions for the benefit of the biodiversity and people of the Neotropics.
We began working at a new stopover site in north-west Colombia this year. The site is located in remnants of dry forest in the department of Cordobá and was established primarily to follow the migration of Yellow-billed Cuckoos by the Colombian NGO, SELVA (www.selva.org.co). We are currently fundraising for the cuckoo research and hope to report on exciting advances as spring migration advances (www.experiment.com/cuckoo-
We have had plenty of surprises in the first two weeks of monitoring (since 23 March). In the last week of March, there was an excellent and completely unexpected movement of Cerulean Warblers through our study site and we have now banded 8 individuals, 5 males and 3 females. One male appeared to stay at the site for four days, gorging itself on caterpillars, as it prepared for the next leg of its journey. The Cerulean Warblers were accompanied by smaller numbers of Golden-winged Warbler that also initiated their migration in late March and we even caught one of each species in one net round.
In the first week of April the first northward bound Blackburnian Warblers were recorded at our site, along with the forerunners of what we hope will be a large arrival of Yellow-billed Cuckoos. Tennessee Warblers have also been on the move and several birds with a fat score of 5 (very fat!) were recorded in late March and should now be well on their way to North America.