Although in Quindío different programs have been developed by public and private entities so that elk flight avitourism and there are several companies dedicated to this segment of the ‘industry without chimneys’, Mauricio Ossa Aristizábal, director of Birds Colombiastated that the department should give added value to this activity.
“The birds that are in this territory are also seen in Caldas, Valle del Cauca and Risaralda. Those interested must define what additional Quindío can offer to the tourist so that they are interested,” said the specialist.
He added: “If you only rely on the species, it will be difficult to obtain good results, because there are places where the same and others are and with greater facilities to observe them, for example, we went to Genoa and traveled 17 kilometers to get into the mountains and see the Andigena nigrirostris, while in Manizales one travels a short distance, gets out of the car and sees it a few meters away”.
(See also: Racket-tailed Hummingbird, a beautiful bird that beautifies the mountains of Quindío)
He stressed that, in general, Colombia’s potential in bird tourism is immense, as it is the country with the largest number of birds on the planet and it is a territory with some natural areas that dFor many years, people from other countries could not visit because of the problem of public orderbut today there is no problem in going to sectors that were previously dominated by illegal armed groups.
He pointed out that in this sense, Quindío has a great opportunity, since many nature-loving tourists arrive in this departmentAlthough they are not birdwatching specialists, they can begin to show them the birds.
“Another niche that I see for this territory has to do with the birdwatchers who are arriving in Colombia and who are passing through the Coffee Region, reaching Manizales and Risaralda, which have some advantages, but not Quindío. There is a great opportunity there, but the department must prepare itself, understand the territory, define what the specialties are, so that these people who are looking for specialized experiences include Quindío in their routes”.
According to Ossa Aristizábal, another point in Quindío’s favor is that it has good roads. “Some need to be improved, but it also has installed capacity —hotel infrastructure—”.
He concluded: “It is estimated that there are 70 million bird watchers in the world and most of these have not come to the country, but they do come to Costa Rica and Peru, so there is a very important market that may be interested in these lands. We lack a lot of infrastructure and specialized guidesso the sites that are best prepared are the ones that are going to start enjoying all the benefits that these tourists generate”.
(See also: A banana tree frog alerted a family living in rural Quindío)
The Big Year Colombia registered 184 birds in Quindío
Niky Carrera Levy, director of Guardian of the birds, explained that The Big Year Colombia is a project with which they seek to tour all the departments of Colombia in 365 dayswith the aim of registering as many birds as possible, teaching their importance in the regions they visit and delivering a conservation message, from the history of the Podiceps andinus, the only extinct species in Colombia.
“Today we toured Tolima, Huila, Caquetá, Nariño, Putumayo, Cauca, Valle del Cauca, and yesterday we closed in Quindío. We hope to end December 31 with the flag of conservation in La Guajira”.
He asserted that in their tour of the Quindian territory, in which they visited municipalities such as Salento, Filandia, Córdoba, Pijao, Buenavista and Génova, registered 184 species of birds, among which is the king of Quindío. “It was the bird that said goodbye to us yesterday in Genoa, which I did not know, but we also added 5 new birds to our list.”
The King of Quindío
Ossa Aristizábal, who with his wife, Niky Carrera Levy, toured different areas of the region photographing birds within the project called Big Year Colombia, assured that the department has, according to the most up-to-date figures, 709 species of birds observed, among which is one that should be a flagship.
“It is the Sericossypha albocristata, which although it is also seen in other territories, it is special because in its common denomination it bears the name of the department, since it is known as the king of Quindío, it is also called chicken of the mount or white-crowned tanager”.